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zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo Alumni Conservationist. Field Technician. Intern with The Rattlesnake Conservancy and the Ashton Biological Preserve 🐍🐊🐒 http://www.youcaring.com/adoptderek
324 posts
798 followers
944 following

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
Today is steve irwin day! steve was my hero growing up. his passion and enthusiasm for conservation and wildlife inspired me (and so many others) at a young age to grow up and be a conservationist just like him. is impact us still felt to this day and i hope his passion and fire for saving the planet burns on and continues to inspire! i hope that i could be someone’s steve irwin one day. that i can connect people to wildlife and inspire others to protect our wildlife and wild places.





#steveirwinday #steveirwin #wildlifewarrior #thecrocodilehunter #khaki #wildlife #nature #conservation #conservationeducation #conservationthrougheducation #inspiration #hero #legendsneverdie #idol #naja #najapallida #spittingcobra #cobra #redspitter
0 71 9 hours ago

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
“if we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. share my wildlife with me. because humans want to save things that they love.” ~ steve irwin





#wildlifewarrior #conservation #education #conservationeducation #conservationthrougheducation #snake #snakesofinstagram #snakesofig #reptile #reptilesofinstagram #python #carpetpython #morelia #wildlifeeducator #aussiepythons
3 89 5 days ago

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
Gopher tortoise burrows play such a vital role in the everyday lives of so many different animals.
🐒
they provide refuge from the hot florida sun, a safe place from wildfire, somewhere to keep warm during the few cold days we actually get.
these burrows can also be somewhere to brumate, abandoned burrows are often dug out by other animals to use as a place to den and give birth.
🐍
snakes, especially eastern diamondbacks, are animals that depend heavily on these burrows. people often come to me, concerned that because they have gopher tortoises on their land, they also have rattlesnakes.
🐍🐒
however the rattlesnakes will be there regardless, they are apart of our native ecosystems. it’s beneficial to have these burrows around, not just for the other wildlife, but so the rattlesnakes can use them as a sanctuary instead of coming up to a home or building looking for refuge.






#gophertortoise #burrow #burrows #gophertortoiseburrow #wildlife #snake #snakes #snakesofinstagram #snakesofig #snakesofflorida #reptile #reptilesofinstagram #florida #floridawildlife #wildlife #nature #conservation #education #conservationeducation #conservationthrougheducation #wildlifewarrior #venom #venomous #crotalus #crotalusadamanteus #rattlesnake #easterndiamondback #diamondbackrattlesnake #gopherus #gopheruspolyphemus #discoversnakes
2 83 2 weeks ago

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
Can you tell me how old this rattlesnake is?
i doubt you can. it is a very common myth that you can tell how old a rattlesnake is by the number of segments on its rattle. every time a rattlesnake sheds its skin, a new segment is added to the rattle. a young rattlesnake can potentially shed as much as every 6-8 weeks and even an older snake could shed 3 times a year.





#snake #snakes #snakesofinstagram #snakesofflorida #reptile #reptilesofinstagram #venom #venomous #venomoussnake #rattlesnake #easterndiamondback #crotalus #crotalusadamanteus #conservation #education #conservationthrougheducation #wildlifewarrior #savethesnakes #savethebuzztails #nature #wildlife #floridanative #discoversnakes
4 125 2 weeks ago

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
And the oscar goes to.......
ever seen a snake play dead? hognose snakes are phenomenal actors when it comes to defending themselves! here we have a couple southern hognose showing us exactly what they do best!





#snake #snakes #snakesofinstagram #snakesofflorida #reptile #reptilesofinstagram #floridanative #natives #nativewildlife #wildlife #acting #actor #playingdead #rearfanged #hognose #southernhog #heterodon #heterodonsimus #herping #herpingflorida #sandhills #discoversnakes
5 96 3 weeks ago

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
Today is reptile and amphibian awareness day! this day is super important, and i am very passionate about this because i try to dedicate as much time as i can to raising awareness of the importance of these animals! these creatures will often times be disregarded because they’re aren’t “cute” or “furry” mammals. but they are equally unique, beautiful and important! here i am sharing my passion with some visitors at the pasco county rattlesnake festival!





#reptile #reptiles #amphibian #amphibians #awareness #education #conservation #conservationeducation #conservationthrougheducation #snake #snakes #python #carpetpython #morelia #festival #savethesnakes #savethefrogs #savethebuzztails
0 67 4 weeks ago

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
Had the opportunity to go talk to some kids about snakes and conservation today!! i always love to spread my knowledge and passion with younger generations to hopefully inspire some kids to grow up and be conservationists!





#wildlifewarriors #wildlifewarrior #conservation #education #inspiration #inspiringthenext #conservationeducation #wildlife #conservationist #educator #wildlifeeducator #savethebuzztails #savethesnakes #biology #ecology #herpetology #herps #herpetoculture
1 90 5 weeks ago

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
⚠️ venomous ⚠️
.... kinda...?
hognose snakes like this southern hognose (heterodon simus) here belong to the colubridae family, along with around 1900 other species. now, most people here in the u.s. associate venomous snakes with other families, such as viperidae and elapidae. this is rightfully so, all of our venomous snakes in the united states belong to these families! sort of... some of america’s colubrids are actually mildly venomous!
now don’t worry, these snakes are essentially harmless, unless you are a frog, or small snake, lizard, salamander or fish. these mildly venomous snakes are relatively small, have proportionately small heads, and venom glands. so there is no real threat to people.
their fang structure is pretty interesting, too! they are opisthoglyphous, which means they are rear fanged. their venom delivery system is very rudimentary and not very effective on larger animals, since they have such small heads and mouths. so people have nothing to fear!






#snake #snakes #snakesofflorida #snakesofinstagram #venom #venomous #mildlyvenomous #rearfanged #rearfangedvenomous #opisthoglyphous #hognose #simus #heterodon #heterodonsimus #hogtober #florida #floridanative #wildlife #nature #wildflorida #floridawildlife #colubrid #colubrids #colubridae
6 87 last month

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
Are you interested in working with venomous reptiles?
the rattlesnake conservancy, offers a one of a kind, hands on courses, that teach how to safely work with and around these animals. whether you work at a zoo, as a field technician, wildlife removal, field biologist, someone who keeps privately, or you just have an interest in venomous reptiles, this class is for you!
in these classes we cover topics like snakebite protocol, handling equipment, venom toxicology, and keeping venomous reptiles in captivity, just to name a few!
for more information and to register for courses, visit savethebuzztails.org/training
keep you eyes peeled for more class in different locations in 2019! i might even be your instructor!






#savethebuzztails #snakes #venom #venomous #venomoussnakes #venomouskeeper #herpetology #herps #venomousherps #venomousherpetology #therattlesnakeconservancy #trc #education #conservation #conservationeducation #wildlife #wildlifewarrior #safe #safety #friendsdontletfriendsfreehandle
1 64 last month

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
Do you know what snake this is?
some people mistake them for dusky pygmy rattlesnakes because of their color and pattern, some people call them puff adders because of its defensive behavior.
but this is no rattlesnake, nor african viper, this is a young southern hognose (heterodon simus)
🐍
these little snakes are some of my favorites that we have here in florida. that’s because they are amazing actors! these snakes don’t get very large, 24inches is a big one, so they have to come up with unique ways to defend themselves. when they feel threatened they will actually flatten their head and “hood up” like a cobra!! they will also hiss very loudly and false strike with their mouths closed! if this scare tactic doesn’t work, they play dead! they actually flip over onto their backs with their mouths open and tongue out, while emitting a foul odor that smells like decay!
how cool is that!?





#hognosesnake #hognose #heterodon #heterodonsimus #simus #snakesofflorida #snake #snakesofinstagram #florida #nativewildlife #reptile #reptilesofinstagram #colubrid #rearfanged #herpetology #herpsofinstagram #wildlife #reptiles #herping #herpflorida #sandhills #nature #hogtober #hogtoberfest
3 65 last month

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
Yeah that’s my kinda night 🎸🀘🏼
legends of the farm!
3 48 last month

@zoo_szn

Derek Dykstra
Recently got to visit the st. augustine alligator farm (@staugalligatorfarm ) with trc (@the_rattlesnake_conservancy ) for their croctoberfest event! it’s always great to visit the facility, see friends and educate people about the importance of venomous reptiles! plus the proceeds went towards crocodilian conservation! so all in all it was a great time! 🐊🐍





#staugustine #florida #saaf #staugustinealligatorfarm #alligatorfarm #alligator #crocodile #caiman #gharial #snakes #venom #venomous #venomoussnakes #conservation #education #conservationeducation #beer #craftbeer #localbrew #brewatthezoo #croctober #croctoberfest #croctoberfest2018 #zoo #zooforyou #aza #reptiles #herpetology #azazoo #zookeeper
2 77 last month