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" all I can say is "WOW and Thank You" . they will make my cage making a much easier and a more fun task. Once again thank you for your web site and you prompt support"
Burt Tejada

I am ... very happy with your plans, the organization that you have put into it and I am extremely happy with the response I have gotten from you when I have encountered a problem.
It sure does save money. At the same time it allows me and others like me to experience making the cage for our animal (animals) that we care so much about. I think that when someone takes the time to sit down and make something like this for their animal it really shows how much they care for them and respect them.

With your plans you can also alter the cage to each and everyone's specifications, or needs. I think what you are doing is wonderful and I want to thank you again.

Robert Hansford


"This is going to make an 11 year old and his lizard Rex very happy".


Spent $108.00 at Lowes, another $65.00 at Home Depot buying things that Lowes didn't have..... Spending time with my son in a hardware store.... PRICELESS!"


"Overall, the best thing I have found from the cage designs... is that:
They work!!!!

They allow you to view and touch your Iguana from all sides, This is a must!

Once you have the material list you don't go back to the hardware store.

Just follow the instructions and it comes out perfect.

Your maintenance will be much easier.

Your iguana will thank you

Once again, you will have built something cool. "

Regards and best to all our Green Iguana friends, Lance and Joey Portwood Glidden, Texas ".


"Very well thought-out designs"



Reptilian Ethology (Reptile Behaviour)

By Christina Miller - Herptiles.net (http://www.herptiles.net)

Ethology** is the science of studying animal behaviour, and when dealing with animal husbandry, having at least a basic understanding of animal behaviour is vital. However, the behaviours of exotic animals kept as pets, such as reptiles and amphibians, are often misunderstood or misinterpreted. The common problem with understanding reptile (and amphibian) behaviour is not the animals themselves. Many people tend to have the idea that because these organisms are "lower" vertebrates, that they cannot develop complex behavioural problems, and that their specific requirements to stay healthy can be disregarded. You cannot keep an iguana, a treefrog or a python in the same conditions that you would keep your dog.

Reptiles are considered exotic animals, not because they are from "foreign" countries, or because they are not typical household pets. It is because their captive needs are quite specific, and very unlike those of truly domesticated animals (mostly mammals, some birds). Realistically, reptiles and amphibians need their natural environment to be reproduced for life in captivity. Without relatively the same conditions that they have in the wild, most species will not live very long in captivity. Even more specific and exact conditions are required to breed certain species outisde of their natural habitat. A proper environment, suitable for the species in question, is absolutely required for normal, healthy behaviour.

Like other animals, the environment a reptile is kept in can affect their behaviour. However, reptiles are more susceptible to environmentally caused behaviour problems. Reptiles are unable to easily adapt to artificial conditions. This is because every species' biology is "programmed" to work in a certain type of environment, sometimes with very specific requirements. So, a difference as small as a couple of degrees cooler than the preferred temperature range of a species can very noticeably change their behaviour and how well their bodies work. Even easy-to-keep species such as leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) have certain requirements that absolutely must be provided.

Of course, behavioral problems can also be caused by medical reasons, but these changes in behaviour are usually only noticed when it is too late. Very slight changes in the animal's daily routine may be the only subtle cues that the animal is sick. Having an understanding of an animal's normal, natural behaviour can really help save your animal if it contracts a sickness for whatever reason, which includes an improper environment. Too hot, too cool, improper humidity, no UV-B lighting, cagemates, too small of an enclosure, improper enclosure orientation (ex: long, flat enclosure for an arboreal species)… The list goes on and on. This again stresses the importance of having the proper environment.

Another major problem with understanding reptilian and amphibian ethology is the use of inaccurate anthropomorphizing. Anthropomorphism is when one associates human attributes (including emotion or motivation) or behaviour to nonhuman things or organisms. Here's an example: A novice anole keeper tells you that his two green anoles love to bask together, because they do it all the time. What's really happening is that each anole needs to bask (thermoregulation is a normal reptilian behaviour), and since there's only one good basking spot available in the enclosure, they're forced to bask together. Reptiles are solitary animals that do not "enjoy" having to share the best basking spot with another reptile. The other animal is seen as competition, and being forced to share an important "resource" with this competitor can be very stressful.

Reptiles, although some are more intelligent than they're credited (such as green iguanas and some monitors), do not really have the complex emotions that humans have. They do not feel love, anger or envy, but are motivated by instinct: They fear predators, and eating and reproduction are necessary. Some of the more intelligent reptiles can become accustomed to people, however, such as in the case of green iguanas. However, again, these animals do not "love" the person, or "miss" them, they are simply used to the person's presence, and may have also associated this person with good things ("This person brings me food/water. This person is good").

On the whole, people are still fairly uneducated when it comes to reptiles: Partly because many people are unaware of the wealth of information available, partly because there are still many people who propagate outdated or misunderstood information, and partly due to human ignorance. As a serious herpetoculturist, or if you just keep one or a couple of reptiles and/or amphibians as pets, you can make their captive lives more livable by putting some effort into learning about the species, their behaviour and their needs. By understanding a reptile's natural behaviour, one can understand what motivates them, and one can more accurately determine what is causing abnormal behaviour.

Recommended reading:

Allen, C. "Animal Consciousness." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2003 Edition). Edward N. Zalta (ed.). (http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2003/entries/consciousness-animal/)

Kaplan, M. Anapsid.org, 2002. Anthropomorphism and Reptiles. (http://www.anapsid.org/anthrop.html)

Kaplan, M. Anapsid.org, 2002. Ethology, Ecology, and Critical Anthropomorphism. (http://www.anapsid.org/ethology.html)

Warwick, C. 1990. Important ethological and other considerations of the study and maintenance of reptiles in captivity. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 27: 363-366. Available online at http://www.anapsid.org/warwicketh1.html.

Warwick, C. 1990. Reptilian ethology in captivity: Observations of some problems and an evaluation of their ætiology. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 26: 1-13. Available online at http://www.anapsid.org/warwicketh2a.html.

**Ethology- the science of studying animal behaviour in their natural habitat. It is often used to propose evolutionary explanations.

Christina has always been interested in animals, but at nine years old discovered reptiles and amphibians to be the most intriguing. For her tenth birthday she received two Gekko ulikovvski, or golden geckos. Since then, she has moved her way around the reptile and amphibian kingdoms, now owning seven herps.

Christina studies animal health (veterinary) technology at Vanier College and is in the process of writing a detailed book about the care of leopard geckos. You can find more pictures and information on Geckos and their care at Christina's website.






Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build enclosures for reptiles"
Find out how to build these cages as well as arboreal cages. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.