World of Reptiles

The National Reptile Zoo

Want to find out what a snake really feels like, or how a chameleon shoots out its tongue to catch it prey?
Get up close and personal with some of our animals, either in the demonstration area at PET EXPO or in our walk-through tropical enclosure. All interaction with any animals is strictly supervised using safe, vetted species. The curator, James Hennessy has over 20 years of experience in dealing with reptiles and looks forward to introducing you to his reptile friends visiting PET EXPO.

Burmese Python

One of the biggest species of snake, Burmese pythons can grow to over 6 m (20ft) long and weigh over 90 kg (14 stone)!
Pythons can swallow animals which are more than twice their own width.
Large snakes have been known to spend most of their life in one spot, ambushing prey as it walks past.
Large constrictors, over 2 m (6 feet) are capable of killing an adult human and so don't always make an ideal pet.


Tarantulas defend themselves by flicking hairs from their abdomen, which can cause allergies and even temporary blindness.
They don't build webs to catch their food but instead lay "trip wires" which helps to warn them of approaching predators and prey.
All spiders are venomous, but tarantula bites aren't fatal and tend to be less painful than a wasp sting.

Alligator Snapping Turtle

One of the largest freshwater turtles in the world, adults can weigh over 80 kg (13 stone) and live over 100 years!
A unique, red "worm-like" attachment on the tongue is used to lure fish and frogs close enough to be snapped up.
The bite force of an adult snapper has been measured at over 1,000 pounds of force. Lions come in at 650 pounds and us mere humans at about 150 pounds.
Populations are seriously decreasing in the wild due to their use as a human food source and because of habitat loss.

Caiman Crocodile

One of the smallest species of crocodilian, Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman rarely gets over 1.5 m (5 feet) in length.
Caiman are more closely related to alligators than crocodiles.
AllThis species is one of the most heavily ossified (presence of bony armour plates under the skin) of all the crocodilians.
Sometimes kept as pets, adult caiman require an enclosure equivalent to a small heated swimming pool and are more than capable of removing an owners hand with a bite.