Pictures and Sounds of Brak
Last updated July 25, 1999
Ever hear a gecko bark? Well here's your chance! I set up a voice-activated tape recorder next to Brak's tank for a couple of days and got some great examples of him barking away. The bark often happens in three phases that sound completely different. He varies it quite a bit, so I've provided three examples. The sounds are in RealAudio format.
Here's Brak, gazing intently at the crickets right outside his cage. Brak is a Tokay gecko (Scientific name: Gekko gecko). Tokays originated in Southeast Asia, but can now be found in some tropical areas around the world, and even some places in the United States.
Click this one for a larger version (for 800x600 monitors) of the first picture. I named him Brak because it's an anagram for "bark," which is something that Tokays are known for. Their bark actually sometimes sounds like they're yelling "to-kay" which is how they got their name. He is a male, and male tokays are supposedly noisier than females. This is because they make mating calls, while the females don't.
I placed some crickets right outside his cage to lure him out for this picture. Brak eats three times as many crickets as Gumbo and Seth. He's a machine.
This is a large screen (800x600) version of the previous picture (I'm currently using this one as wallpaper on my computer at work). Brak is very different from my other two geckos, behaviorally. Whereas Gumbo and Seth almost never walk on the ground, Brak prefers to hide out down there, inside his little cave. Also, when the geckos escape (which happens sometimes when I'm cleaning their cages), Gumbo and Seth's first instinct is to run up the wall near the ceiling, while Brak's instinct is to go down the wall and hide out in a shady area.
Here's the little cage I keep the crickets in. The stuff in the dish near the front is their "gut-loading" cricket food. It is very nutritious and makes the crickets a healthy and fun meal for all of the geckos. In the back is a little ceramic bowl with cotton that is soaked with water. The cotton is helpful, because without it, some crickets would probably fall into the water and drown. Since crickets breathe through holes along the sides of their exoskeleton, it is very easy for them to get waterlogged. I change the cotton every couple of weeks to keep down bacterial growth. If I ever decide to start cultivating my own crickets, I will start keeping the cotton, because the female crickets always inject it with eggs. A couple of times the eggs have hatched and I had hundreds of babies running around! But without constant care and enough room to keep different size crickets in different places, the big ones always eat the little ones.
This one's a cool-looking mosaic version of the first picture. Another reason I named him Brak is because his colors and his eyes remind me of the character Brak on the TV show Cartoon Planet.
I stylized this one to look like an intersitial segment of MTV's AMP, one of the coolest shows on television. When brak hunts for the crickets, his eyes get wide and his toes curl all the way back like the tip of a jester's shoe. When he is just about to pounce, Brak wiggles the end of his tail quickly, like a rattlesnake.