Heat: The Goldilocks Principle of Herpetoculture is an in-depth report on the available heating sources in the herpetoculture industry today. I would estimate that at least 85% of the entire reptile species kept in captivity today need some form of supplemental heat. Providing this heat is a stumbling block for new keepers, as there are a multitude of products available. all claiming to be “the best.” This week I am going to examine, in detail, each element available and discuss their benefits and drawbacks.
As I under stand, these essentially are an aluminum coil molded in a clay-like material. When the element is plugged into a socket, the metal element heats up, the heat is then conducted into the clay structure. The reptile will then lay upon the “rock” to absorb the necessary heat for digestion and then move off the rock after warming to the needed temperatures.
In reality, the reptile relying on ambient air temperature stays on the rock and is usually burned due to the fact that it has spent too much time there. There are a multitude of sites and internet “experts” espousing the dangers of hot rocks. If I am completely honest and fair about the subject; I have never used hot rocks either professionally or personally. The research that I have done into the subject of hot rocks I have inspected has led me to the conclusion that there is a lot of misinformation out there.
This “misinformation” could be derived from packaging, and therefore the fault of the manufacturers. The blame; however, is not solely on the fabricator. The consumer should also be held responsible, as it should be their priority to research products prior to purchase. Some blame also needs to be placed on the shoulders of the salesperson of the stores where these pets are sold, who historically do not properly educate the buyer prior to purchase.
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