Animal Class >> Reptiles

Reptiles

Reptiles are animals that include crocodiles, alligators, tuatara, lizards, snakes, amphisbaenians and turtles. Reptiles are found anywhere except in Antarctica. Reptiles are oviparous (egg-laying). Many species of squamates, however, are capable of giving live birth.

Facts about Reptiles

  1. Crocodiles are the largest reptiles, and the estuarine crocodile, at over 8 metres, is the largest of them all. It is also one of the most dangerous, since it often adds people to its diet of fish and animals.
  2. The scales of a crocodile are made of ceratin, the same substance that hooves and fingernails are made of.
  3. A crocodile's tongue is attached to the roof of its mouth and cannot move it.
  4. Down in those jungle swamps a survivor from the Stone Age lurks. Experts say that crocodile is probably the closest living relative of Tyrannosaurus Rex, which makes it nearly 195,000,000 years old!
  5. The Gila monster is one of the two poisonous lizards in the world. When it bites its prey, such as mice and rabbits, it squirts poison down through grooves in its teeth.
  6. The Australian frilled lizard can frighten off an intruder by suddenly spreading out its huge neck frill. It opens its mouth wide, too, to look more fierce.
  7. The tuatara is just like a reptile that lived millions of years ago, even before the dinosaurs. Today it only lives in New zealand, where it often shares a petrel's burrow. In the day, the tuatara may even be left with a baby chick while the mother hunts for food.
  8. Some snakes, like grass snake, escape capture by pretending to be dead already. Most meat-eating animals only feed on freshly-killed prey, and avoid animals that may have been dead for some time.
  9. This is a rock python. Pythons and boas are large snakes that feed on animals as big as goats and deer. The snake holds its prey in its mouth, then coils itself tightly round the animal so that it cannot breathe. The snake may take several hours to swallow its meal.
  10. Some snakes, like grass snake, escape capture by pretending to be dead already. Most meat-eating animals only feed on freshly-killed prey, and avoid animals that may have been dead for some time.
  11. The vibration of shell-like rings on the end of its tail makes the rattling sound. The rattle is made up of dry, hard pieces of unshed skin. As the snake grows, the number of rings increases. So the louder the rattle, bigger the snake. The snake will shake its rattle to fright away the intruder.
  12. There was once a snake in London Zoo, which was fitted with a glass eye.
  13. The Egyptian Plovers, pick off tiny animals that live on the crocodile's body. They can even climb into its mouth without being harmed.
  14. The longest recorded life span of a tapeworm was 35 years!
  15. A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  16. Snakes can see through their eyelids.
  17. Many snakes never stop growing. That's one reason they must shed their skin.
  18. A snail has two pairs of tentacles on its head. One pair is longer than the other and houses the eyes. The shorter pair is used for smelling and feeling its way around.
  19. Of the 650 types of leeches, only the Hirudo medicinalis is used for medical treatments.

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