Surely we've all had at least one unforgettable experience in a pet store. Most of us find it somewhere towards the back of the shop, in a silent room filled with tanks and cages, and each containing pets exotic enough that we can swear we have never before laid eyes on anything like them. Many of these unusual pets are cold-blooded reptiles, members of the snake or lizard family, with a few rare frogs and toads thrown in for good measure. All pets exotic require very specific care, including temperature maintenance, proper nutrition and vitamin supplementation, and certain amounts of space to move around in. Some prefer water to slither around in when they need to cool off; others require sand or dirt to burrow in, exercising their natural defense mechanism of instinctive camouflage. Still other types of pets exotic are fuzzy or furry; some can see in the dark or actually glide from one perch to the other (while not possessing any feathers whatsoever).
Bearded dragons are quickly becoming a popular among pets exotic, and most can be easily handled, a desirable trait when many of its relatives will bite or strike if an owner dares to open the lid of their domicile. Dragons will grow dependent on the space they are given, though only rarely will they get bigger than a small forearm, and even that size can take decades to reach. This particular type of exotic animal needs a heat lamp to bask in, and regular meals of fresh greens to maintain its health. A bearded will exercise an interesting defense mechanism when it feels threatened, namely the 'puffing out' of its throat area, making it look like an old man with a large beard, thus the name. This is done to create the illusion of added size when facing a predator, though most bearded dragons will choose to flee confrontation if given the choice.
Chinchillas are among the most unique types of pets exotic available today, and they have quickly garnered a large following. A nocturnal animal resembling a cross between an overly large mouse and a rabbit, chinchillas were once bred and killed off for their extremely soft fur. Unusual pets like the chinchilla require cages with multiple levels and activities, as they are often very active and curious. Dietary needs consist of mostly roughage, with grass hay being a main staple and chinchilla pellets available to supplement as needed. Chinchillas are another specific type of pets exotic, which can be eventually tamed and handled easily.
The last type of pets exotic I'd like to touch on briefly (no pun intended) are hedgehogs. Most hedgehogs found in on our continent are actually native to Africa, and are more commonly known as the African Pygmy Hedgehog. Hedgehogs are fairly low maintenance on the exotic animal scale, and come in a variety of color shades (though most are browns and grays). With their backs covered in short prickly spines, it takes a certain type of pet owner to win the trust of a hedgehog, and thus they are the ones to discover the velvet soft fur of their hedgehog's underbelly. Their diet consists primarily of insects, which can generally be purchased at any pet store where hedgehogs are sold.
Each of these pets exotic retains certain qualities that will appeal to particular pet owners. All of them are known to have unique personalities, just as all of their larger, four legged pet counterparts. So next time you find yourself in that pet store, peering through that glass, take a moment to see if the animal peering back at you has a mischievous twinkle of knowing in his eye.