Young snakes eat slugs, earthworms and crickets. Adults eat mainly mice but also occasionally small lizards, birds and their eggs, frogs. Deserts and scrublands in Southern Mexico Up to 12 years Females lay between 2 and 15 eggs 30 days after mating. These hatch after approximately 2 months. Milk snakes share a striking resemblance to coral snakes. Coral snakes are dangerous - having harmful venom. They have red, yellow and black stripes. Milk snakes are harmless and have red, black and yellow stripes (same three colours, different order!). This is known as mimicry. The similarity in their colouration means most animals will avoid the milk snake – assuming it is just as dangerous as the coral snake. Several rhymes can be used to help remember which is which for example: Red next to black is a friend of Jack. Red next to yellow is a dangerous fellow. Primarily fruit and plant material. At the safari park their diet includes lettuce, oranges and bananas. They are considered one of nature’s dustmen – eating food even when it’s breaking down and decomposing. Native to Madagascar, they like to live in logs and amongst leaf litter. Females create a cocoon like case called an ootheca inside their bodies to carry round their eggs. They then give birth to live young (one of the very few insects to do so) and as many as 60 at a time. 3 – 5 years in captivity Unlike many species of cockroach they are wingless. They are though excellent climbers having “spiky” legs which help provide them with grip Hissing is used as a defence. By imitating a snake they hope to scare off one of their main predators – mice. Mice are eaten by snakes. Their characteristic hissing noise does not come from their mouth but rather through small holes or spiracles found down the side of their body. Forcing air out at high pressure creates the sound. Herbivorous eating a huge range of vegetation, crops and flowers. At the safari park they enjoy lettuce, sweetcorn and mushrooms. They also need a source of calcium such as cuttlefish bone to keep their shell strong Native to East Africa. It can survive in coastland, forest, scrubland and agricultural areas. These snails are hermaphrodite with each one having both male and female sex organs. Each snail can lay up to 1200 eggs per year! Eggs are white and about the size of a marble. They hatch after 14 days and each snail is born complete with a shell. Usually 5-6 years but some survive in captivity for up to a decade They like damp conditions and will aestivate for up to 3 years in times of drought. This is similar to hibernation but is in response to dry conditions rather than temperature change. They feed with kind of tongue called a radula. This is covered in rows of tiny “teeth” which the snail uses to scrape the food. Slime helps these snails to climb vertically. It also provides protection when moving over surfaces of different textures. Leaves! At Knowsley we feed them on bramble. They also like raspberry and ivy. Small (approx 8mm) eggs are laid by females in the ground. These hatch about 6 months later although sometime it can take up to 18 months depending on conditions. The younger are green in colour and change to brown as they grow older. Native to Australasia They prefer hot humid forests and are found amongst the foliage. Up to 2 years Males have enlarged back legs which sport a thick spike on the underside. This is used when fighting or in defense. Females have a “spike” at the end of their tail. This is curled to imitate a scorpion when threatened. They will also wave their front legs around to appear larger and more intimidating to predators. They have both hooks and “sucker pads” on their feet to help them climb and maneuver amongst tree trunks and branches. Youngsters require a lot of meat in their diet including locusts, crickets, worms and cockroaches. As they mature they switch for a mainly herbivorous diet Found in Australia mainly in dry, rocky desert regions or in arid open woodlands Females lay up to 24 eggs at a time in a shallow sandy nest. They are left unattended and hatch out between 60 and 80 days later. 5-8 years in the wild. Up to 12 in captivity When threatened they puff out excess skin under their chin whilst sending it jet black. They also erect the spines found covering their face and body. The aim is to intimidate a predator with looks alone, as actually their body spikes are not harmful. They have long claws which help them to climb on to rocks and branches and bask in the sun. If it gets too hot the claws help them to dig a hole in the ground to cool down in. Males head bob (quickly moving their head up and down as if nodding) when they need to show dominance over another male or when they are trying to attract a female. They eat the leaves of blackberry, raspberry, oak, rose, hazel and eucalyptus. In the winter you can still find fresh blackberry leaves outside. This species can be found in Eucalyptus forests in Australia. The eggs hatch after 4 to 6 months when the female is fertilized by a male. Parthenogenetic eggs, when the female has not been with a male, hatch after 6 to 12 months. The average lifespan for leaf insects is twelve months but, in captivity, they can live longer. Macleay’s can grow up to 20cm in length! They are also one of the heaviest insects on record, weighing more than many birds. Adult females are big, heavy and do not have large wings, so therefore cannot fly. The males are long and slender and have very long wings that reach past the abdomen, which means they are capable of flight. Like most stick insects this species is docile by nature. It is nocturnal and will generally only move during the night. If they are threatened, they stand up on their front and middle legs and then will curl up their abdomen to mimic a scorpion. They are covered in thorn like spikes for defence. They will sway back and forth in the breeze, camouflaging as a dead leaf. Carnivorous – favouring small insects and spiders but they will occasionally eat small mammals or other frogs. Their teeth are not designed to cutting so they fit prey into their mouths in one go – sometimes forcing it in with their hands. Females lay 150-300 eggs at a time. Youngsters hatch out within 28-36 hours. They are ambush predators. Native to Australia and New Guinea they prefer wet tropical climates. They prefer to live in tree canopies and access water that collects in leaves to keep themselves moist. Up to 16 years in captivity They have large discs on the ends of their toes which provide grip to branches. Females are bigger than males They are names after the man John White who first discovered them in 1970 Royal Pythons feed on mice or rats appropriate to the size of their mouth. After mating, the female retreats to an underground burrow, where she usually will lay about four to six leathery eggs. While incubating, she curls her body. Throughout the incubation period, the female does not eat. After about 90 days, a hatchling -- 14 to 17 inches in length -- splits its shell and emerges. Western, Eastern and Central Africa Savannah is their natural habitat 20 - 30 years is average for a wild Royal Python. In captivity they can reach 40 years of age. Royals are earthy colours like brown, beige and black with gold and white markings. According to legend, Cleopatra wore a Ball python as an ornament wound around her arm, which may have given rise to the snake's name -- the royal python. Another name for them is ball snake – this is because when they are threatened by a predator, they will curl up into a ball and roll away! They will also hiss to scare the threat away. They can reach 5 feet in length. Herbivorous – at the safari park they eat mainly bramble Females lay the small (4mm) eggs in the ground. They hatch after a few months but temperature and humidity can affect this. Youngsters are called nymphs Native to forest areas of the Philippines Up to 2 years The white coloration of the tail of the female is thought to aid camouflage on tree trunks mimicking pale coloured moss or bird poo! Males travel by “piggy back” on the back of females The spike on the end of the female’s tail is called an ovipositor. It helps her to lay eggs. Their antennae are longer than their forelegs!