Bartlett Library patrons learned all about lizards at the program "Lizard Lovers" on Saturday, Feb. 3, presented by Deb Krohn of FrogLady Presentations.
To open up the show, Krohn said she was going to bring out lizards that would make good pets.
The first lizards Krohn got out for the audience to see were her two Bearded Dragon lizards, Lavern and Shirley. She brought out a variety of small hats for them to wear, which made everyone laugh.
Bearded Dragons are from Australia, and they need a heat lamp and UV light to survive as a pet. Krohn showed how to pick them up correctly in the most comfortable way for them, so that their legs do not squirm everywhere.
A 3-month-old Bearded Dragon baby was brought out, which was approximately a fourth the size of the adult Bearded Dragons. His name is Peanut, and he is Lavern's own baby.
In the wild, Bearded Dragons dig a whole, lay the eggs, and then leave. The babies will hatch and need to start surviving on their own right away.
"What would happen if I set Peanut down in front of its mommy?" Krohn asked the audience.
Turns out, she would eat him.
Adult Bearded Dragons do not recognize the babies as their own kind. They are too small, and they see them as a tasty snack. That is the way it will be until Peanut is much bigger.
"They don't make very good parents," Krohn said.
Next to be brought out was Baxter, a Blue Tongue Skink, which also originally comes from Australia. Krohn explained that it got its name from its blue tongue. When a predator comes swooping in to snatch it up, the Blue Tongue Skink will stick its tongue out to confuse the predator into thinking that its poisonous due to the vibrant color.
After Baxter was put away, Krohn brought out a Gargoyle Gecko named Crunch. This type of Gecko comes from New Caledonia, has no eyelids, make good climbers and loves to eat rotten fruit. This lizard doesn't need UV light, and rather than a hot atmosphere, it likes it to be at room temperature.
Throughout her explanation of the lizard, Crunch kept jumping all over her, crawling up her sweatshirt and into her hood, making the audience laugh when she turned around to show them.
Crunch was put away to make way for Lady, a Crested Gecko. Unlike Crunch, Lady did not have a tail; it had fallen off at some point in her life. Krohn pointed out that these Gecko's tails can fall off when they feel scared or threatened, and it won't ever grow back.
After all the lizards who would make good pets were shown off, Krohn brought out the ones that would take a little more care than children were prepared to handle.
She took out a Green Iguana named Buddy. He clung to the front of her sweatshirt and stayed put as she showed him around the room. She said that Iguanas could live to be over 25 years old.
Next came a Chameleon named Rex. Unlike popular belief, Krohn said Chameleon's don't change color based on the background; they change color based on their moods.
For instance, if the Chameleon were feeling sad, tired, hungry, he would be a paler version of his usual colors. Now, if he were to be happy, or sees a female, then he would be as vibrant as possible. And, if he sees another male Chameleon, the spots on his body would turn black from anger.
The audience was fascinated when they saw Rex shake side to side on a fake potted bush on the table, and one child asked why he was doing that. Krohn explained that they shake to blend in when wind shakes the leaves on the trees.
The last type of lizard Krohn showed was an Argentine Tagu, which originally come from South America. She had two with her, Fireball and Chummy.
Fireball came out first, and he was in the process of shedding his skin, so everyone was able to see what that looked like on a large bodied lizard. Then Chummy came out, and amazingly, he was about twice the size of Fireball, who was already big to begin with.
She explained that Argentine Tagus are omnivores and they have big cheeks to scare away other males of their kind. Krohn said she has a leash for them, and they go for walks as if they were cats: She goes where they want to go.
Once the presentation finished, everyone was welcomed up to hold and pet a few lizards: The Bearded Dragons, the baby Bearded Dragon, Krohn held the Argentine Tagu while people pet it and some adults held the Chameleon.
For more information on FrogLady Prestations, visit http://www.thefroglady.com/
If you missed this program, an upcoming Youth & Teen Services program at the Bartlett Library is the "Now Showing" movie program on Friday, Feb. 9 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. It's movie night at the Library! This time we will be showing "Gnomeo and Juliet." Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Concessions will be available for sale the Friends of the Library.
For more information and a complete listing of scheduled programs, call 630.837.2855 or visit www.bartlettlibrary.org.