10 Fun Reptile Facts

In honour of Reptile Awareness Week we have unearthed 10 of what we think are the most interesting facts about our Reptile friends:

  • It’s estimated that there are more than 10,000 species of Reptile on the planet, and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Reptiles are ectothermic, which means they get their body heat from external sources. Reptiles bask in the sun when cool and seek shade or water when hot.
  • Reptiles are among the longest-lived species on the planet. The Aldabra tortoise can live for over 150 years!
  • Reptiles first appear in the fossil record 315 million years ago.
  • Reptiles do not have sweat glands and thus are not slimy, instead their skin is usually cool and dry.
  • A snake’s scales are made of keratin, the same substance that makes up our hair and fingernails.
  • Some species of gecko can detach their tails in defense. When a predator grabs the tail, the gecko can detach the tail and make its escape.
  • Most species of snake lay eggs (oviparous). But many Vipers, Rattlesnakes and Anacondas give birth to live young (viviparous).
  • The hearts of snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises contain three chambers rather than the four chambered hearts of humans.
  • Many species of Turtle show temperature-depend sex determination. This means the ambient temperature outside the egg, during the development of the embryo, can determine a hatchling's gender.

 

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