Gecko Feet Don’t Stick Around

This allows for weak forces between molecules, called van der Waals forces and frictional adhesion, to become strong enough to support a lizard’s weight. The tokay gecko has some 6.5 million setae, which together generate enough force “to hold up two skinny guys or one fat guy,” Gamble says. “If all the setae had full contact with the substrate, [with that amount of adhesion] you could have a Spider-Man suit.” Reconstructing feet Engineers who want to emulate the lizard’s feats will have to construct precisely designed mechanical feet. “People making gecko adhesive have just been concerned with stickiness, like flypaper,” Gamble explains. “But as soon as you want to make something move in the real world, you must know how to make it stick and unstick on different inclines and different materials and at different speeds.” Since hundreds of gecko species have adhesive toepads, it could be tough choosing one to use as a model. “If you don’t know how they’re related, you may do a lot of unnecessary work looking at every species,” Gamble continues. “But if you know how they’re grouped evolutionarily, you can compare representative species from each of the 11 groups that evolved toepads independently. Then you can figure out what characteristics lineages with toepads have in common.” The crested, or eyelash, gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) is native to New Caledonia. Photo: Tony Gamble This way, he says, one can glean best practices for assembling an adhesive toepad, filter out lineages that may be redundant, and ignore traits that may be unique to just one lineage.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.umn.edu/news/features/2012/UR_CONTENT_394753.html

Day Gecko Care – Terrarium Set Up and the Best Supplies

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Gaily clad in brilliant, neon-hued colors, Day Geckos (Phelsuma spp.) are among the most desirable of all lizard pets, so here is a short article about Day Gecko care.  Many are hardy, long-lived, and relatively simple to breed…but only if they are housed in a properly-designed habitat.  Active and alert, these cautious animals fare poorly in bare enclosures, but are ideally suited for life in naturalistic, planted terrariums.  The security provided by dense plantings and well-placed branches will put Day Geckos at ease and allow you to view a wide range of fascinating behaviors.

Setting up the Terrarium

Day Geckos are highly arboreal and must have climbing opportunities.  “High-style” aquariums make fine homes.  A pair or trio of Spotted, Yellow-Throated or other small species can be kept in a 15-20 gallon aquarium.  A 30-55 gallon tank will accommodate the same number of Standing’s, Madagascar or Giant Day Geckos.  Always opt for the largest terrarium possible.

Phelsuma madagascariensis

Photo uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Manuel Werner, Nürtingen, Germany

Day Geckos need spacious enclosures that mimic their natural habitat.  Live plants such as Pothos and Philodendron will provide visual barriers between tank-mates and a sense of security.  Rolled cork bark and hollow bamboo sections make ideal hideaways and perching sites, and should be arranged both horizontally and vertically.

Be sure to establish plenty of basking sites near heat and UVB bulbs, as dominant individuals may exclude others from these important areas.

The terrarium’s screen lid must be tightly secured with clamps.

Substrate

A mix of potting soil, cypress mulch and sphagnum moss is ideal.

Light

Day Geckos will not thrive without a source of UVB light (but some notable exceptions are known; please see article below).  Natural sunlight is best, but be aware that glass and plastic filter out UVB rays, and that fatal overheating can occur very quickly.

Your geckos should be able to bask within 6-12 inches of a high-output UVB florescent bulb; the Zoo Med 10.0  Bulb, which I have used at the Bronx and Staten Island Zoos, has been shown to out-perform other florescent models.  Mercury vapor and halogen bulbs broadcast UVB over greater distances, and emit beneficial UVA radiation as well.  Be sure to provide shaded areas.

A daytime period of 12-14 hours should be established.

Heat

Ambient temperatures of 82-88 F, with a basking spot of 90-95 F, will suit most (please post below for information on individual species).

Incandescent spotlights may be used by day; ceramic heaters or red/black reptile “night bulbs” are useful after dark.

Provide your pets with the largest home possible, so that a thermal gradient (areas of different temperatures) can be established.  Thermal gradients, critical to good health, allow reptiles to regulate their body temperature by moving between hot and cooler areas.  In small or poorly ventilated enclosures, the entire area soon takes on the basking site temperature.

Humidity

Most Day Geckos are rainforest dwellers and do best in humid surroundings.  Their terrarium should be misted at least twice daily. If your home is especially dry, consider using a small reptile fogger to raise the humidity levels in the terrarium (please see photo).t243860

Companions

Males will fight savagely and cannot be housed together. Females are territorial, and must be watched carefully. Pairs, trios (1 male, 2 females) and youngsters may co-exist in large enclosures, but be sure to check dominant individuals do not prevent others from feeding and basking.

Please check out my posts on Twitter and Facebook.  Each day, I highlight breaking research, conservation news and interesting stories concerning just about every type of animal imaginable.  I look forward to hearing about your interests and experiences as well, and will use them in articles when possible.

Please also post your questions and comments below…I’ll be sure to respond quickly. 

Thanks, until next time,

Frank Indiviglio

Further Reading

Keeping Day Geckos without a UVB Source

Gecko Overview

Leopard Gecko Care – The Ideal Gecko Terrarium – a Zookeeper’s Thoughts

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius) possess distinct personalities, accept handling, are easy to breed, do not require UVB radiation and are content with modestly-sized terrariums – surely as close to a “perfect reptile pet” as one can imagine.  However, while some have reached ages of 20+ years, Leopard Geckos will not thrive if their specific needs are not met.  Drawing from my work with this and related species at the Bronx and Staten Island Zoos, today I’ll describe the type of captive habitat these fascinating lizards require, and some useful products that will help you excel in Leopard Gecko care.  I’m also hoping to publish a revised edition of a book I’ve written on Leopard Geckos…I’ll try to include any interesting observations you might post below.

Male leopard gecko

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by MKGeckos

Natural History

Understanding an animal’s natural history is a critical first step in successful captive care and breeding.

The Leopard Gecko is found in southeastern Afghanistan, western India, Pakistan, Iraq, and Iran, where it frequents desert fringes and arid grasslands. Its habitat is characterized by sand, gravel, rocks, tough grasses and low shrubs (please see photo).  In the course of the year, temperatures may range from 41-104 F. Please see the article linked below for further information on Leopard Geckos in the wild.

Setting up the Terrarium

Leopard Geckos will do fine in simple homes, but naturalistic terrariums landscaped with rocks, driftwood and live plants make for stunning displays.  Aloes, Ox Tongue, Snake Plants and other arid-adapted species, all readily available, may be used to decorate Leopard Gecko terrariums.

 Leopard Geckos are not overly-active (by lizard standards) but should be given as much room as possible.  A single adult will get by in a 10-15 gallon aquarium, but a 20 gallon (long style) is preferable.  A 30-55 gallon terrarium will accommodate a pair or trio.

Leopard Geckos are ground-dwelling, but will utilize rocks and stout driftwood.  Rocks and other heavy objects should always be placed on the terrarium’s floor, not on the substrate, so that lizards cannot tunnel below and be crushed.

Several hide boxes or caves should be provided, preferably on both the cooler and warmer sides of the terrarium.  Please see “Humidity” and “Temperature” below for further information. 

As air flow is important for animals that are native to arid habitats, your terrarium should be equipped with a screen top.

Arid Scrb

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Ton Rulkens

Substrate

Sand has long been used as a substrate for adult geckos in zoos and private collections, and I’ve not had any problems with it in either setting.  However, impactions due to swallowed sand are sometimes reported, and most pet keepers prefer to err on the side of caution.  Large gravel and stones, of a size that cannot be swallowed, are a good alternative.  You can mix in some dry grass to simulate a semi-desert environment.  If you do choose to add sand, it is best to provide food in large bowls, or in a separate enclosure, so that ingestion is limited.

Hatchlings are clumsy hunters, and tend to swallow sand.  Newspapers, paper towels or washable cage liners should be used until their skills improve.  Adults may also be kept in this manner if you prefer.

Light

Nocturnal lizards such as Leopard Geckos absorb Vitamin D3 from their diet, and do not need a UVB light source.

Heat

The ambient air temperature should range from 78-88 F.  A ceramic heater or red/black reptile “night bulb” (these will also enable you to observe your gecko after dark) can be used to maintain these temperatures at night.  A below-tank heat mat or bulb should be positioned so that one corner of the tank is warmer (to 88 F) that the rest.

Large enclosures are necessary if a thermal gradient (areas of different temperatures) is to be established.  Thermal gradients, critical to good health, allow lizards to regulate their body temperature by moving from hot to cooler areas.

Head, young male

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Pop77o7

Humidity

Low humidity and a dry substrate should be maintained.  However, shedding problems will be likely if a cave stocked with moist sphagnum moss is not provided.  A dry hiding spot should also be available.

Companions

Leopard Geckos are solitary and best housed alone.  Females and youngsters may co-exist, but dominant individuals may prevent others from feeding.  Males will fight viciously and cannot be kept together.  Pairs may get along in a large terrarium, but close monitoring is the rule.

Feeding

Too many pet Leopard Geckos are fed diets comprised solely of crickets and mealworms, and as a result rarely live as long as they otherwise might.  The overuse of pink mice is another common mistake.  Please see this article  for information on providing a proper diet, and be sure to post any questions below.

Please check out my posts on Twitter  and Facebook.   Each day, I highlight breaking research, conservation news and interesting stories concerning just about every type of animal imaginable.  I look forward to hearing about your interests and experiences as well, and will use them in articles when possible.

Please also post your questions and comments below…I’ll be sure to respond quickly. 

Thanks, until next time,

Frank Indiviglio

 

Further Reading

Leopard Geckos in the Wild

Breeding Leopard Geckos

Onmilwaukee.com Kids & Family: Move Over Rover: Milwaukeeans With Unusual Pets

“It is impossible not to be relaxed and thoughtful while watching a snail.” Recently, Ariens brought her family pet to the OnMilwaukee.com offices so the staff could experience “coffee with Careful,” something she has done with friends. (Another friend even has Careful over for sleepovers.) “Occasionally, a friend drops by for coffee in the mornings and we will let Careful out while we chat, thus, ‘Coffee with Careful’ started up,” says Ariens.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://onmilwaukee.com/family/articles/unusualpets.html

Guatemala: As seen from a treehouse, pickup and boat | Star Tribune

The Jamaican iguaua is a critically endangered species that lives in the Hellshire Hills in Jamaica. Preservation efforts are threatened by pending development of their habitat. Paulette Coley holds up an aloe plant, abundant on the Goat Islands. A young crocodile swims among mangroves.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/02/opinion/townsend-jamaica-iguana/index.html

Opinion: Jamaica selling out its paradise – CNN.com

A pelican rests on a fishing boat in Old Harbour Bay, Jamaica.

A private bathroom with a hot shower sits beside a steep staircase that climbs into the treehouse, which is precisely the size of its queen-sized bed. A color-splashed patchwork quilt is tucked in tight. There are a few built-in shelves and, of course, the aforementioned picture window offering its volcanic view. The most amazing thing about waking up in a treehouse high on a mountain is that it was merely one of three amazing vantage points that pierce my memory like a trident when I reflect on my recent journey to Guatemala. Besides that staggering from-a-tree perspective, there was the view from the back of a pickup truck bouncing out of a cliffhanging village and the full-moon-at-midnight moment as our water taxi slapped across Lake Atitlan.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/266659041.html

Looking Back And Looking Ahead: Rangers Hit Rock Bottom | Wfaa.com Dallas – Fort Worth

Skaggs struggled against Texas back on May 4 as he only lasted 2.2 innings, gave up eight hits and six runs in a 14-3 loss. He hasnt won since May 20 and he has lost four of his last five decisions.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.wfaa.com/sports/Looking-back-and-looking-ahead-Rangers-hit-rock-bottom-266597571.html

Column: Could an exotic pet be a good choice for you? – Farmington Daily Times

Dr. Darren Woodson and his dog Luna

By Darren Woodson Special to The Daily Times Updated: 07/08/2014 05:39:22 PM MDT Dr. Darren Woodson and his dog Luna A turtle, a rat, a bird, a snake and a guinea pig are some of the examples of exotic pets we see at our office. Believe it or not, these pet owners are as passionate and in love with their creatures as you dog or cat lovers! Exotic ownership requires some research and understanding of the behavior and needs of each species. Here are five reasons an exotic pet may be right for you: 1. Exotic pets are so different that owning one can be an incredible learning experience. With their unique behaviors and complicated social interactions both with each other and with us they readily can teach us all sorts of new information. But their gregariousness can be a double-edged sword for an owner. These exotic pets have specific social and environmental needs, and before you embark upon the journey into exotic pet ownership, you should be sure to learn about the needs of the exotic pet species you are considering.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.daily-times.com/four_corners-news/ci_26112151/column-could-an-exotic-pet-be-good-choice?source=rss

Roaring Through the Previs on ‘Godzilla’ | Animation World Network

DS: In terms of previs, postvis, techviswhere do you see all this going with regards to the way the studios are using these processes? EC: I’d like to see it heading to a point where studios will previsualize the whole film.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.awn.com/vfxworld/roaring-through-previs-godzilla

Summer Vacation: Off The Beaten Path | Abc7chicago.com

The only way to get to LeConte Lodge is to hike 5 1/2 miles up the mountain. On the way you may even pass the pack of llamas carrying supplies to the lodge, the only way to get supplies up and down the mountain. You stay in log cabins with kerosene lanterns and propane heaters. One-room cabins are available, or you can book a larger one or two bedroom lodge. There is no electricity in the cabins and big meals are served in the dining hall.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://abc7chicago.com/family/summer-vacation-off-the-beaten-path-/164594/

OnMilwaukee.com Kids & Family: Move over Rover: Milwaukeeans with unusual pets

Whole Animal Gyms owners say Lucy is just one of the success stories at the facility, where holistic treatments are used as a complementary treatment alongside of traditional Western medicine. WAG, located at 611 S. Second St., was opened in 2010 by husband-and-wife team Dr. Christina Fuoco and Chad Carnahan, the director of operations. The center serves as a referral service to the veterinary community, with a goal to get the word out about all that they offer and to educate the general public on how to keep their pets healthy and happy. Other facilities, such as Bark-A-Delphia on 3rd St., and Central Bark on Wharton St., offer doggy daycare services to help keep canines active and playing. Theres also The Cat Doctor — a full service center including acupuncture, exclusively for felines. But its owners say WAG is also the only veterinary rehabilitation facility in Philadelphia that welcomes all animals, and offers hydrotherapy, acupuncture, a full dog gym, ultrasound, and laser treatments.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.philly.com/philly/living/pets/Gyms_command_for_pets_Heal.html

Gym’s command for pets: Heal!

Mazur says he feels particularly attached to his iguana and that he fell in love with her at first sight. “There was something about the way she gently munched on the berries that were offered to her. I loved that I could handle her and that she was, for the most part, docile and calm,” says Mazur. “She was so small that I could put her inside the front of my shirt and she’d stick her little green head out of the collar, content to feel the warmth of my body heat. Every day when I come home I look forward to seeing her. I never tire of looking at her amazing dinosaur-like features.” Eleven years ago, Prescott Sobol, who is an English, humanities, professional writing and philosophy instructor and a DJ, adopted a chincilla a rodent about the size of a squirrel from the Wisconsin Humane Society. He named her Margarita Lauchita Chinchilla.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://onmilwaukee.com/family/articles/unusualpets.html

Caldwell County Says Goodbye To Willard Blevins, Who Dressed Up In “crazy Costumes” | Charlotteobserver.com

Belize’s Maya ruins, reef enchant visitors | Boston Herald

When wed go to a dollar store, hed run straight to the toys. In 2011, Blevins was struck by a car while walking along a road and seriously injured. He ended up in a nursing home, where Greene visited him regularly.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/07/04/5024635/caldwell-county-says-goodby-to.html

Opinion: Jamaica selling out its paradise – CNN.com

A pelican rests on a fishing boat in Old Harbour Bay, Jamaica.

Cahal Pech which unflatteringly means place of the ticks in Yucatec and Mopan Mayan sits on the outskirts of San Ignacio, a popular base for those exploring Mayan ruins. Under the cover of an encroaching jungle, visitors can get a glimpse of how the upper crust lived in Mayan times through the sites palace structures. The site is also home to a nice example of a Maya ball court.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://bostonherald.com/entertainment/travel/2014/07/belize_s_maya_ruins_reef_enchant_visitors

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Tourists travel to see unspoiled beaches and native flora and fauna, and ideally, to see people living in a healthy relationship with their land. But if the Jamaican government sells out to Chinese developers, reversing its environmental protection laws and going against its own constitution, it will send the message that investing in tourism in Jamaica is unwise.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/02/opinion/townsend-jamaica-iguana/index.html

Sewer Expansion Key In Upper Bucks Future – The Intelligencer: Bucks County | Montgomery County | Local News | Breaking News | Sports | Entertainment | Opinion

Roaring Through the Previs on ‘Godzilla’ | Animation World Network

`d_ 766E @7 E96 6IE6?D:@?[ ?@CE9 @7 #:586 #@25]k^Am kAm(9J 2> x 8@:?8 E@ 36 7@C465 E@ 4@??64E E@ E92E[ H96? x 92G6 2 A6C764E=J G:23=6 D6H6C A=2? 2?5 2? F?=:>:E65 2>@F?E @7 H2E6Cn 2D<65 |2EE96H $>:E9[ @H?6C @7 E96 #@J p?? s:?6C[ 255:?8 E92E 96 H2D BF@E65 2 4@DE @7 2AAC@I:>2E6=J Sb__[___ 7@C H2E6C 2?5 D6H6C 9@@For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.theintell.com/news/local/sewer-expansion-key-in-upper-bucks-future/article_c6f96b91-319d-59c6-9f08-a6745f8cf22a.html

The previs is fully textured in Maya. We approximated the lighting and did a sort of hardware render. Then we brought it into After Effects where we added explosions, water effects, lens flares and glows. We didnt want people pulled out of the emotional experience so we tried to make the previs look good. DS: In terms of the third act, what were the biggest challenges you faced in with the previs?
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.awn.com/vfxworld/roaring-through-previs-godzilla

Gecko Feet Do Not Permanently Adhere – Industry News – Overclockers Club

Researchers at Linkoping University however have found that the physics involved are not permanent, and so may not be the best choice for all applications. All molecules and atoms are attracted to each other by van der Waals forces. These are weak forces though, so you cannot expect to climb a wall just by pressing your hands against it. Geckos and spiders however have evolved special hairs that are able to get so close to a surface and with enough surface area that the van der Waals forces are able to resist gravity. The Linkoping researchers decided to look into this more deeply and found that van der Waals forces do not hold indefinitely. Both the surface and the object suffer very small vibrations from molecules moving, and for the most part these are insignificant.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.overclockersclub.com/news/36561/

Caldwell County Says Goodbye To Willard Blevins, Who Dressed Up In “crazy Costumes” | Charlotteobserver.com

Seeing Belize, from sea to jungle | Travel | The Seattle Times

Often, his pets came along an iguana on his head, a monkey perched on his shoulder. Jayne Hall remembers Blevins wore an Indian outfit the day she handed him an order at Northside Barbecue and noticed something around his neck. It was a real live snake, said Hall, 57, of Lenoir. I screamed and jumped back. He said, Yes, its a snake. Then he sat down and started eating. Like many others in Caldwell County, Hall regarded Blevins as something of a character. Some thought he was crazy, but he was so harmless, she said. Everybody loved him. More than 100 people signed the online guest book at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home & Crematory, which is handling Blevins funeral arrangements.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/07/04/5024635/caldwell-county-says-goodby-to.html

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Iguana Project Iguana scurry all over San Ignacio thanks in part to the efforts of the Iguana Project, which hatches and releases the critters whose eggs are regularly gobbled up by predators in the wild. A guided tour of the facility where theyre kept allows tourists to get up close and personal with the scaly beasts. Among the highlights is the iguana nursery, where willing participants can be covered in a brood of 4- to 6-month-old bright green iguanas. Belizeans are prohibited from keeping the lizards as pets, but Iguana Project guide Jorge Lopez says locals will eat green iguanas for dinner. And he insists they taste like chicken.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://bostonherald.com/entertainment/travel/2014/07/belize_s_maya_ruins_reef_enchant_visitors

Belize’s Maya ruins, reef enchant visitors | Boston Herald

PREV of NEXT Belize Tourism Board / AP Vacationers relaxing at Caye Caulker in Belize. The beach town is a laid-back, low-cost base for tourists looking to explore a nearby barrier reef. Related Seeing Belize From Belize City, water taxis serve Caye Caulker and San Pedro. Buses and shuttles take tourists inland to San Ignacio, where a variety of tour companies run day trips to Mayan ruins sites. More info
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://seattletimes.com/html/travel/2023979331_belizetopspotsxml.html?syndication=rss

Belize offers beaches, ancient ruins to vacationers – Spokesman.com – July 6, 2014

Don’t have a Spokesman.com account? Create a Spokesman.com profile and register for FREE access. S-R Media, The Spokesman-Review and Spokesman.com are happy to assist you.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/jul/06/belize-offers-beaches-ancient-ruins-to-vacationers/

Caldwell County Says Goodbye To Willard Blevins, Who Dressed Up In “crazy Costumes” | Charlotteobserver.com

Belize’s Maya ruins, reef enchant visitors | Boston Herald

Jayne Hall remembers Blevins wore an Indian outfit the day she handed him an order at Northside Barbecue and noticed something around his neck. It was a real live snake, said Hall, 57, of Lenoir. I screamed and jumped back. He said, Yes, its a snake. Then he sat down and started eating. Like many others in Caldwell County, Hall regarded Blevins as something of a character. Some thought he was crazy, but he was so harmless, she said. Everybody loved him. More than 100 people signed the online guest book at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home & Crematory, which is handling Blevins funeral arrangements. I have memories of you as a child and have thought of you often through the years, one woman wrote.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/07/04/5024635/caldwell-county-says-goodby-to.html

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And he insists they taste like chicken. The project works to boost the lizards population by releasing 100to 150 iguanas a year. If you go … BELIZE: travelbelize.org. Located between Mexico and Guatemala, with nonstop flights to Belize City from Houston, Miami and other points. From Belize City, water taxis serve Caye Caulker and San Pedro.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://bostonherald.com/entertainment/travel/2014/07/belize_s_maya_ruins_reef_enchant_visitors

A Wet And Wonderful Weekend

Izzy was taking a writing course at UNCA and had to be over there Monday through Friday. But when I got off work Thursday morning Maddie and I loaded up and headed for the lake.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.smokymountainnews.com/component/k2/item/13635-a-wet-and-wonderful-weekend

Robin’s Jean featured on VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”

The recording artist and choreographer frequently wears the designer denim brand and is one of the shows most controversial personalities. She keeps viewers on their toes and in front of the television screen every night. Her appearance on the show wearing the jeans will, no doubt, convince fans that the new collection by Robin’s Jeans offers a stylish, yet daring look. The new Jane Lizard collection by Robins Jean is one of the top-selling jeans collection for women this season. The jeans in the Jane Lizard collection come in a wide selection of colors and styles. Visit http://www.robinsjean.com for the complete collection. Robin’s Jean features a unique collection of jeans, jackets, tops, hats and belts for men and women designed by Robin Chretien.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/fashionjeans/designerjeans/prweb11994322.htm