Reptiles are the second largest vertebrate group on the planet. With over 10,000 species, reptiles are insanely diverse and can be amazing pets for adventurous pet owners. Perhaps you might have been tempted to share some human snacks, such as popcorn, with your pet during meal times. But is this safe? Which reptiles can eat popcorn?
The short answer is you should NOT feed your reptile popcorn.
Can Lizards Eat Popcorn?
Lizards should not be fed popcorn since most of them require a strictly natural diet comprising only food that can be found in the wild. While some herbivorous lizards are capable of eating fruits and vegetables, popcorn provides very minimal nutritional value. Feeding your lizard with green leafy vegetables would be better.
A huge variety of lizards exist, from small, harmless monitor lizards to the large, predatory komodo dragon. Often, different species of lizards have different dietary requirements. There is no one-size-fits-all menu and you must be aware of your lizard’s natural feeding pattern before trying out any new food or snack.
What Do Lizards Eat?
Here is a list of five common groups of lizards and their natural diet in the wild.
- Gekkota Lizards: This category includes geckos and blind lizards. They mostly eat insects, small reptiles, and, at times, small rodents.
- Amphisbaenia Lizards: This group includes the legless burrowing worm lizard. Their diet consists mainly of insects, small vertebrates, worms, and arthropods.
- Anguimorpha Lizards: Some examples include monitor lizards and Gila monsters. These lizards mostly feed on worms, snails, small birds, eggs, and frogs.
- Scincomorpha Lizards: This category includes skinks and wall lizards. They mostly eat insects, including crickets, flies, caterpillars, and beetles.
- Iguana Lizards: This group includes chameleons, bearded dragons and iguanas. They can either be herbivores or omnivores, depending on the species. Their diet includes worms, crickets, leafy green vegetables and small mice.
In the process of trying to find out which reptiles can eat popcorn, it is important to consult your local veterinary clinic or reptile expert. They will be able to provide more comprehensive information about your lizard’s specific species and their recommended diet.
What Fruits and Vegetables Can Lizards Eat?
Some herbivorous or omnivorous lizards can eat fruits and vegetables. Pet MD outlines the following list of fresh produce that lizards can enjoy:
- Apple: Remove the seeds and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- Grape: Crush or shop each grape.
- Celery: Chop or shred the pieces.
- Blueberry: Feed in moderation.
- Strawberry: Ensure you remove the stem before serving in chopped pieces.
- Yellow Squash: It should be finely chopped or shredded.
- Collard Greens: Remove the stems and shred the leaves.
- Honeydew melon: Discard the core and rinds before serving.
- Dark Green lettuce: You can use dark green lettuce, red leaf lettuce, romaine or Boston.
Corn is generally not recommended for lizards since it contains a high amount of phosphorus, which can lead to various health complications. Furthermore, Reptiles Magazine states that fruits should not form more than ten percent of your lizard’s diet since most fruits have more phosphorus than calcium.
Can Snakes Eat Popcorn?
No, snakes cannot eat popcorn because most of them are carnivores and will only consume live feed or fresh cuts of meat. In most cases, snakes will only consume fruits, vegetables or any other non-meat item due to accidental ingestion.
If you own a pet snake, it is extremely important for you to maintain a healthy diet that includes all the essential nutrients that your pet needs. For this reason, veterinary experts advise that pet snakes should only be fed with the recommended live feed and fresh cuts of meat.
The size of the prey that you feed your snake will depend on the size and species of your pet.
Does a Corn Snake Eat Corn?
When trying to determine which reptiles can eat popcorn, perhaps you might stumble across the corn snake. Where did this name originate from? Does it mean that the corn snake can eat corn? The curious case of the corn snake often raises many questions among pet owners.
In summary, there are two possible theories about how the corn snake got its name – none of which has to do with the snake eating corn.
The first theory explains that the corn snake got its name from the checkerboard appearance of the brightly colored scales that cover its body. On the other hand, the second theory suggests that the name originated from the fact that corn snakes usually hide near grain stores so that they can prey on the rodents that feed on corn.
When it comes to diet, corn snakes are carnivorous, which means that they do not eat corn, but rather their diet mainly consists of rodents, frogs, lizards and birds.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Popcorn?
No, bearded dragons cannot eat popcorn because it contains a high amount of phosphorus, leading to a condition known as metabolic bone disease.
Furthermore, unpopped kernels are a serious choking hazard for bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons require calcium to maintain healthy bones. However, consuming foods rich in phosphorus causes the phosphorus to bind to calcium and prevent it from being properly absorbed.
This situation leads to metabolic bone disease, which is a condition that presents with symptoms such as painful warped limbs and paralysis. Pet owners should always inspect any food’s calcium-to-phosphorus ratio before feeding it to their bearded dragon. Corn has about 13 times more phosphorus than calcium; therefore, it is not a safe snack for your reptile.
All-Natural Diet for Reptiles
The vast majority of reptiles cannot eat popcorn. However, there are a few exceptions, such as fish, which tend to love popcorn, and it is even used as bait.
A general rule of thumb is that reptiles tend to be healthiest when they are fed natural foods that would be found in the wild. Therefore, you should avoid processed human food and stick to the recommended diet for your reptile species.
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Sue’s favorite pastime? Watching a good movie with a giant tub of popcorn by her side. Her friends and family know that if they want to get her something, popcorn is always a safe bet. Sue has an adventurous spirit and loves to travel exploring new places – she’s been to more than 40 countries!