Guess what we did this weekend? Well, mid-January here means it’s time for the third annual Repticon! I find it hard to believe that we’ve been here long enough to have done anything for the third annual time. This year was uncommonly good- definitely better than last year. It’s one of the few things out there that will actually entice us to venture into Gwinnett County.
Although they are not reptiles, I was excited to see a couple of sugar gliders there. This was the first time I’ve ever seen them in person, not in pictures. And they are even cuter in person. They’re like rats on speed. The guy with the sugar gliders asked if I wanted to hold one. I said sure, but Jon could only barely get any pictures of these blurry, rapidly-moving cartoon animals. And how cool would it be to have a marsupial as a pet? The little guy hyperactive’d himself all over my hand for a moment, then flew off me and landed on his owner.
I was drawn to arthopods this time around, too. Specifically, I was entertaining the idea of taking home an African millipede (1 pet point), but I didn’t see any. The Arthropod Guy did have a big box of emperor scorpions, though. They are just so cool-looking, and morphologically similar to my favorite fossil arthropod- the eurypterid- that I wished I liked them more than I do. In fact, I feel a little foolish to admit that I’m a little nervous around them. I know that they’re not aggressive and that their venom is pretty mild, but I just feel odd handling something that can sting. I feel so foolish that they make me nervous that I asked Arthopod Guy if I could hold one, to see if I could get over it.
Well, I did a decent job and didn’t end up flinging it off of me when it started to skitter under my wrist. I just think it’s funny how in the picture you can see that I’m definitely nervous and trying very hard to hide it.
And then somebody’s huge albino python escaped and calmly slithered away.
Something I tried to do differently this year at Repticon was to try to get some pictures of the vendors and attendees. I’ve tried in the past to describe what reptile-people look like, and I don’t feel like I ever quite convey it. They all look like this:
And there seems to be a strong connection between an enthusiasm for reptiles- snakes in particular- and an enthusiasm for armaments, as is showcased here in a picture with a knife vendor wearing his boa constrictor. And camouflage. Seriously, about 48% of all attendees here looked like that guy.
And I think it’s funny how everybody just brings their snake along and carries it around while looking at the exhibits. One or two people carried around their pet monitor lizards.
I left The Lizard at home because she’d really rather stay home than to go to an event that’s absolutely crawling with humans and other reptiles. She hates them equally.
It seems like every year there’s a certain thing that’s the fad reptile, and every vendor seems to be carrying them that particular year. Last year it was the uromastyx lizard. This year it was chameleons. There were chameleons everywhere. A few were especially stunning. I love chameleons, especially their weird feet, but I don’t think I’d ever get one. They’re difficult to maintain in captivity, easily stressed, don’t like being handled, are not very hardy and die easily. But damn, are they beautiful.
I was impressed by the bearded dragons that appeared to be on display for stud service or something. All their genetic information was listed on the cage, presumably for breeding reasons. Those two bearded dragons, Caesar and Firefly, looked and acted like they were queens. They were handsome and they knew it. I wonder if they’re actually interested in breeding with females.