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Blackduiker, 10 Mar 2012
    • Otter Lord
      Note the clear need of a varied climate for ecothermic behaviors of reptiles. There is an extra dynamic with Crocodilians as they need shade and sun both out of the water and in it. Interesting that this dock is the main source of shade; I wonder if that was intentional.
    • DavidBrown
      Interesting observation. There is a beach for them to haul out on so I would imagine that this probably was included as a shade structure.

      As for why there is a dock there, I am curious if they are planning on doing demonstrations at some point or if it is supposed to be atmospheric primarily. From what I have heard this exhibit was supposed to be an "American alligator swamp" which this element would seem to make more sense in than a false gharial habitat.
    • Otter Lord
      Weren't Chinese Alligators considered in the plan earlier? Must have been dropped.
    • Blackduiker
      Chinese Alligators, Komodo Dragons, etc. I'm still mourning the lack of return of our Exuma Island Iguanas, Crocodile Monitor, Prehensile-tailed Skinks, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Storr's Monitor, and any of our cobras. But alas, we move on. And I'd imagine, that we'll be seeing the addition of several new species being introduced into the LAIR complex, for months to come.
    • Otter Lord
      Ah, that always scares me because in San Diego the species line-up just gets worse and worse as the exhibits get older. I think we can all agree to that.
    • DavidBrown
      I'll be a contrarian here and say that when it comes to zoos, that I find "quality over quantity" and "less is more" to make for better zoos. I think that the Elephant Odyssey complex (however botched the execution) is a much better set of exhibits than what preceded it. A zoo with an overstuffed number of species without adequate exhibits isn't good for the animals or zoo visitors who get overwhelmed and indifferent (this I know does NOT apply to many people at ZooChat).

      I think that the LAIR is much better than the previous reptile house as a facility and a collection because the presentation of the species in it is more meaningful to zoo visitors and has better exhibits for the species living there.
    • Blackduiker

      But there is a very strong argument for quantity, with the proper quality of exhibit design. On more than one occasion, I've overheard several conversations over the years from LA Zoo patrons, bemoaning the fewer number of species as compared to the San Diego Zoo's collection. And it does appear LA continues to ad new species at the loss of others. In just recent months we've seen the loss of the following as examples; Tawny Frogmouth, Red Kangaroo, Great Grey Kangaroo, Japanese Serow, Common Hippopotamus. The average zoo going public wants to see as many animals as possible. One reason why thousands from the Los Angeles area are willing to drive 120 miles to the south to visit San Diego's zoo, rather than frequent their own local zoo only some 30 minutes away. I've heard this from several of my own relatives and coworkers. My argument is neither pro nor con either way. Just an observation from many years of zoo going experience.
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