Reptiles Facts, Diet, Types, Behaviour, Habitat, Mating, reproduction and all details with List of reptiles are well elaborated and discussed in details.
What is a Reptile?
Reptiles are air-breathing vertebrate which has the special skin made up of bony plates, scales, or the combination of both. Unlike the birds and animals, reptiles do not maintain a constant internal board temperature. They cannot stay warm on a cold day or cool off on a hot one.
So, they just move into the shade or sun as they needed. In the winters, they will become inactive. Because of the slow metabolism and heat-seeking behavior, reptiles are cold-blooded.
Definition of Reptiles
In the class Reptilia, Reptiles are tetrapod animals. Today including turtles, snakes, crocodilians, amphisbaenas, tuatara, lizards and their extinct relatives are very well represents the reptiles. Reptiles have the special skin on their body that made up of their scales, bony plates or a combination of both.
Most of the reptiles live on the land but there are few like crocodiles and some species of snakes can live in water as well. Almost all reptiles are equipped with senses similar to the humans.
Types of Reptiles
Reptile is a class of (Reptilia) under phylum Chordata. We have the four types living reptiles in the researches:
- Turtles and Tortoises
- Snakes and Lizards
- Crocodiles and Caiman
In the Mesozoic Era, reptiles ruled the land, water, and air as well. But with the time and climate change, they became extinct about 60 million years ago. Only four living orders are here of them:
Rhyncocephalia comes under the category of the lizards or you can say the distant relative of lizards, named Tuatara. It is a living fossil and only you can fount it in New Zealand.
Squamata is the most successful order of living reptiles and it is order of lizards and snakes.
Chelonia includes the tortoises and turtles. Both are living primarily in water and land as well. Their body covered with the hard carapace that helps them to defense. This type of reptiles is also known as the Testudines.
Crocodilia is look like a large lizard shaped, and predatory reptiles. This type includes gharials, crocodiles, caiman, and alligators.
Examples of Reptiles
Here are the some fine examples that related to the reptiles. You may often see in your daily life or any other zoo as well.
These are the few examples of the reptile category. Yet it has the some dangerous and poisonous reptiles, but there are also some that you can keep as a pet.
Interesting Reptiles Facts
Reptiles are one of the interesting species about the human is curious to know more and more. The physical attributes and behaviors of these animals make humans so fascinating to know. These days, there are so much misunderstanding and myths about reptiles. But in past few years the thinking about the reptiles got the positives as well. Now, we know more about the reptiles that we ever could, and this knowledge has brought to light many interesting facts about these creatures and their lives.
- There are more than eight thousand species of reptiles is living on this planet, except Antarctica continent because it is too cold.
- Yes, it’s true that the reptiles cannot maintain the internal heat as the humans can do. But Cold Blooded is not the way to describe the reptiles. It is like racism. Reptiles are ectothermic which means they get the heat from the external sources.
- Reptiles are one of the longest live species on the planet. The largest tortoise, Aldabra tortoise can live for more than 150 years. Alligators can live about 70 years. Ball pythons, a popular species of pet snake type, can live up to 40 years.
- There are 2/3 part world’s snakes are non-venomous. Only about 500 species of snakes are venomous and of those only 30-40 are considered harmful for humans.
- Opposite to the above fact, Australia has the most number of venomous snakes out of non-venomous.
- Here is the other fact that more Americans die more each year from bee stings than from snake bites.
- Certain types of snakes can go long without eating anything for months. Snakes eat large meals as compared to their body size and have the slow process of metabolism. So, they have a long time between meals.
Characteristic of Reptiles
As we discussed already, the reptiles are not able to maintain the inner temperature. So, most of the peoples called them “Cold Blooded”. But the reptiles are ectothermic vertebrates which get the heat from the external sources to keep them warm during cold environment. Following are the basic and common characteristic of all the reptiles found in the animal world:
- The species of the reptiles which are ectothermic regulate the heat in their body by absorbing the heat from the environment. They have the scaly skins as there is no fur or hair on the skin. The scales of the reptiles develop as a surface cell filled with Keratin.
- Most of the reptiles have the spinal columns or backbone except snakes. All the reptiles have pelvis which is associated with at least two spinal bones.
- Reptiles have three-chambered heart except crocodiles and Alligators which have the four-chambered heart. They have the two aortic blood vessels carrying blood from the heart to other body parts. All the reptiles breathe through their lungs throughout their lifespan.
- Most of the reptiles are tetrapods (four-legged animals). But the reptiles such as snakes and some lizards are legless. So, they just crawl to move in any direction.
- The reptiles use their vision to detect the surrounding objects. All the reptiles do not have the external ears instead they have eardrum that is positioned neatly the eyes and is placed close to the surface of the skin.
Reptiles can survive in the small variety of environments, but the most important thing is heat that the reptiles needed to keep them warm. Reptiles also can be found where you can get the good amount of water. It will help the reptiles to keep hydrated. It is the most common thing in the environments like tropical forests and deserts. Some reptiles also can hibernate themselves to live them in area during colder winters.
In other words, there are many things that depend on the reptile’s habitat. The primary factor is the size of the reptile that can be used by them for feel comfortable. A small space can be detrimental to mental health. So, let discuss what habitat the reptile should have?
The reptile will spend lot of his life span inside the cage. So, provide the enough large space to engage in typical behaviors and get adequate exercise. A small space will not be good for the metal health of reptiles. The different species require the different space for living.
Heating in the Habitat
The reptiles needed the external heating sources to keep them warm. They are unable to produce or maintain the internal heat. The reptiles found the warm places itself which can be 85 – 125 Fahrenheit.
Different reptile species require different level of humidity to bloom. The species that hail from forests require higher humidity than those came from the drier climates.
The species of the reptiles can found different at the different temperature. As they some need more heat and some doesn’t require though. But the most of the reptile species require the external source of heat to their body and blood warm.
Are Birds Reptiles?
Yes, kind of. As we all know the skeleton of the some birds is similar to the some kind of dinosaurs, which are reptiles. From the research on the fossils, we know that some dinosaurs have long arms like birds, long beak (with teeth), and feathers. So, you can see the extinct ‘dinosaurs’ related species flying over your neighborhood every day.
Are Snakes Reptiles?
Yes, the snakes are reptiles. This group of animals is very similar to amphibians, except that they lay eggs on dry land. They are cold-blooded and require the external heat to warm their bodies. There are other familiar animals in this group includes turtles, tortoises, lizards and several species of legless lizards are also seem like snakes.
Are Lizards Reptiles?
It’s true. Lizards are reptiles which have several other subfamilies. The order squamata has thousands of species which includes both lizards and snakes in it. Lizards are also able to communicate using colors with the aid of their color vision sense. Some of the most common lizards are the Gecko, Varanid lizard, Chameleon, and Komodo Dragons as well.
If you are interested in or going to owning a reptile as pet, then you need a terrarium to keep it in. or a terrarium is simply a container designed to hold small plants or animals in a controlled environment. It can be anything creative which is comfortable for the pet reptile. You can use the small piece of an alien landscape in the house to give it more natural look and view.
The reptile terrarium depends on the many things such as size of the reptile, behavior, and the activity, temperature that he need, humidity and also ventilation. If you are going to have a reptile terrarium, then you have to keep these points in your mind. The terrarium should have enough space as some snakes and lizards can grow quite large. So, it should have enough space to move around.
Reptile tank is the location or house where you can keep your pet reptile. One tank is enough for one pet reptile yet it has enough space to roam inside and have some activity to do. Reptiles don’t like to be together as they like solo. But there are certain species of lizards and chelonians which can live successfully together in the same species tank. One of the most diverse selections universal rocks, lightweight rock aquarium backgrounds made it easy to transform the look of your reptile tank. There are 3D backgrounds that give the real look of rock features, colored with the real rock material.
There are many different kind of food items are available in the market to offer captive reptiles and amphibians. The diet depends on the small carnivorous lizards and larger carnivorous reptiles as it can differ in the amount and type of food. For small carnivorous amphibians and lizards, you can feed the varied diet that includes insects dusted with supplements, such as vitamins and calcium which is a healthy diet. For larger carnivorous reptiles, such as monitor snakes and lizards, rodents provide an appropriate staple.
You can use the common cricket as reptile food. Crickets provide an adequate dietary staple for smaller insectivorous herps. The cricket has the very much lower survival rate if you don’t maintain the temperature. You have to keep the range as narrow as possible. Feeding crickets should be a proper diet which is critical for both crickets and for the animals eating them.
Mealworms are also another good choice of food for many insectivorous amphibians and reptiles. One mealworm contains several times the caloric content of a single cricket. So, the mealworm helps to maintain the body mass of your pet reptile.
Most of the species of reptiles lay eggs, but several snakes and lizards, develop the eggs inside the mother’s body, and she gives to live young. Similar to the bird’s eggs, Tortoise and Crocodiles lay hard shelled eggs. Turtles, snakes, and few species of lizards lay eggs with softer leathery shells. Sea turtles lay their eggs on the beaches.
Reptile as a Pet
You can own the reptile as a pet. There are several spices that you can bring at your home and keep it as your pet in the relevant environment. This is safe for your kids as well to have the reptile as a pet. Here are the few names of the reptiles as a pet without fearing of anything.
- Water Dragon
- Russian Tortoise
- Crested Gecko
- Ball Python
- Corn or Rat Snake
- Leopard Gecko
- Bearded Dragon
Reptiles are amazing. You just need to know their personality and requirements of each potential reptile to get the perfect reptile fit for you. Make sure that you do enough research on each of these pet reptiles before getting it.