Pets in the Classroom Suggests Green Anoles
Pets in the Classroom believes an inexpensive and great “beginner” reptile is the common green anole. These little lizards are common to the Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean, and are sometimes called American Chameleons, because they can change their color from green to brown to camouflage themselves. They can also drop their tail if grabbed by the tail, and will usually grow a new one.
A glass aquarium with a screened top makes a great habitat for the anole. Anoles can be kept alone or in small groups, but males can be territorial with each other andfight, so keeping females with no more than one male is best. Anoles thrive in a semi-tropical environment with a soil, peat moss or orchid bark substrate. They love branches for climbing and perching on, and live plants provide humidity and shelter. To maintain optimum conditions you may want to incorporate a basking light and ceramic heating element, depending on the conditions in your classroom. Your pet supply retailer can help you choose appropriate materials for your anole’s new home. Creating your anole’s environment can be a great classroom project. Get your students involved; classroom pets provide wonderful learning opportunities.
Anoles drink water droplets misted into their environment and require a diet of live insects like crickets and meal worms. With careful and consistent handling, green anoles can be quite tame throughout their 4 to 8 year lifespan.
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