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Crocodilians

This family of reptiles includes Alligators, Crocodiles, Caimans, and Gharial. Crocodilians are large animals with powerful jaws, heavy elongated tails, short legs, and thick plated skin. They remain in the water much of the time and are capable of opening their mouths while submerged, but cannot swallow underwater without taking in large amounts of water and potentially drowning.  Often misunderstood, these fascinating and mesmerizing animals face serious threats to their habitats as well as being hunted for their skin by humans.

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Alligators

There are just two species of Alligators. One is found in the United States and the other in China.

Physique

They have U-shaped heads with blunt snouts and only the upper teeth are visible when their mouth is closed. Alligators' jaws are meant to crush bone. Most of the muscles in an alligator's jaw are intended for biting and gripping prey - the muscles that close the jaws are exceptionally powerful, however the muscles for opening their jaws are relatively weak.

Conservation status

Due to habitat loss, pollution, and overhunting, Chinese Alligators are considered to be critically endangered with few breeding populations left in the wild. American Alligators are still considered threatened, but have recovered nicely over the past 40 years, enough to allow a hunting season in some states.

Crocodiles

Crocodiles live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia.

Physique

Crocodiles generally have a V-shaped head with a longer, narrower snout, and eyes placed farther forward on their head. When closed, a crocodile's mouth will reveal both upper and lower teeth, as their fourth tooth sticks out from the lower jaw.

Conservation status

Due to hide hunting, pollution, or loss of habitat, all crocodile species are considered to be threatened or endangered.

Caimans

Caimans are native to tropical regions of Central and South America.

Physique

Caimans closely resemble alligators in appearance but are generally smaller, averaging about four to six feet (1.2 to 1.8m) in length, although one species of Caiman can grow to lengths of more than 15 feet. Their bodies are covered with bony plates and are blackish or brownish with various lighter markings.

Conservation status

Most of the caiman species are endangered. The main reasons for the decline in population are habitat destruction and hunting for their skin and meat, as well as the collection of eggs. Conservation efforts are being made to save several of the most endangered species.

Gharials

Gharials are one of the largest crocodilian species in the world.  Reaching lengths of nearly 20 feet, they can be found in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Conservation Status

The Gharial like so many of Asian Crocodilians are critically endangered and near total extinction.  Due to human overpopulation and tremendous pollution of their river systems and flooding of the few remaining nesting areas, this amazing crocodilian needs co-operative, global initiatives to save them.

Dozens of Alligators, Crocodiles and Caiman and one keeper...what could go wrong? Find out what happens next in an action-packed, entertaining show that separates fact from fiction and keeps you in your seat while you witness their amazing speed and power. There's even a chance to pet Fluffy, the baby alligator, and ask questions after the show.  After seeing this spectacular wild animal show, you and your family will definitely gain a new appreciation for our cold-blooded friends.

Physique

They have long slender snouts and thin, needle sharp teeth designed for feeding on fish. Males have an enlarged ornament on the end of the snout called a pot.

 

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About Us

Sky Dome

Step inside the Sky Dome to experience a warm tropical climate while exploring our indoor jungle filled with exotic and unique flora and fauna. 

Rattlesnake Gulch

Try your hand at gemstone sluicing or go on a 3D safari. Our very own old west ghost town as numerous photo opportunities and activities to keep the kids entertained.

Cheyenne's Habitat

Cheyenne the bald eagle has been a permanent resident of Reptile Gardens for 11 years with permission of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Maniac's habitat

Maniac is our resident giant saltwater crocodile. At over 16 feet long and1,350pounds, he is one of the largest giant crocodiles in the western hemisphere. If you don't see him at his enclosure inside the SkyDome, make sure to check outside!

Prairie Dog Town

Get down to eye-level with these fuzzy little animals and see firsthand what life is like in a typical prairie dog town!

Methuselah's Playground

Methuselah was a giant Galapagos Tortoise weighing in at over 600 pounds, and a long time resident of Reptile Gardens. His memory lives on at this playground featuring a bronze statue of Methuselah himself. 

Snake Show stage

Get up-close-and-personal with our snake ambassadors in this family-friendly snake handling show.

Gator Show stage

Dozens of Alligators, Crocodiles, and Caimans and one keeper...what could go wrong? Separate fact from fiction in this educational, family-friendly show and get a chance to pet Fluffy, our baby gator!

Bird Show stage

Interact with birds from around the world at the Bird Show, where they love to show off their beauty and intelligence. 

Gift Shop

Carrying a wide variety of Reptile Gardens souvenirs as well as educational books for every age and a variety of stunning rocks, minerals, and fossils from all over the world.

Green Parrot Cafe

Hungry? Refuel with buffalo burgers, The Maniac burger, Black Mamba Shakes, Indian Tacos, and more!

Giant Tortoise

Don't miss this photo opportunity! Get up-close and personal with these friendly giants who love to have their neck scratched and are great with kids. 

Tortuga Falls

Take a stroll through this meditative garden, gaze into our turtle and koi pond, listen to the waterfalls, and don't miss Darwin the Kookaburra! 

Walking Garden

We're about more than just Reptiles! Our outdoor gardens are beauty to be seen as they change throughout the season and year after year. 

Living Wall

This vertical garden is a wall of color that grows and changes through the Summer season creating striking patterns and unique portraits as it grows. 

Pet A Python

Don't miss your chance to Pet a Python!  Our snake handlers ar here to talk about any questions or myths you've heard about snakes. Don't forget your camera! Our pythons are very photogenic and love to photos with you!