This article illustrates the amazing diversity found within the animal kingdom. Below, I have compiled what I feel are some of the most interesting facts about reptiles and their behavior.
Interesting Reptile Facts
- There are more than 8,000 species of reptiles on the planet, and the live on every continent except Antarctica (where it is too cold).
- Most kinds of reptiles do not tolerate the cold very well. But the Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is sometimes found swimming under the ice in the Great Lakes region of the United States.
- Reptiles are among the longest-lived species on the planet. For example, large tortoises such as the Aldabra tortoise can live for more than 150 years. Alligators can live nearly 70 years. Ball pythons, a popular type of pet snake, can live up to 40 years (consider that before getting one as a pet).
- Most of the world’s snakes (nearly two-thirds) are non-venomous. Only about 500 snake species are venomous, and of those only 30 – 40 are considered harmful to humans. In other words, less than 2 percent of all snakes are considered harmful to humans.
- It is a fact that more Americans die each year from bee stings than from snake bites.
- With regard to reptile fact #4 above, the opposite is true in Australia. There are actually more venomous snakes in Australia than non-venomous snakes. The inland taipan is one of the most popular of these venomous Australian snakes. Australia is the only continent where venomous snakes outnumber non-venomous snakes.
- Certain types of snakes can go months without eating. This is especially true of the big constrictors, such as the Anaconda and the reticulated python. Snakes eat large meals (relative to their body size), and they have much slower metabolisms than we humans have. This partly explains how they can go so long between meals.
- “Cold-blooded” is not the best way to describe reptiles. Their blood is not necessarily cold by itself. But they are ectothermic, which means they get their body heat from external sources. Reptiles cannot regulate their body temperature internally as humans do.
- Snakes and lizards flick their tongues in the air to capture scent particles. They don’t smell through their noses like you and I. Instead, the use their tongues to collect scent particles and then pass the particles over something called a Jacobson’s organ to decipher the air around them. This is partly how reptiles hunt for food.
- True to its name, the African egg-eating snake (of the genus Dasypeltis) prefers to dine on the eggs of other animals. It will swallow the egg whole, and then use tiny “spikes” extending internally from its spine to crack the egg open and swallow the nutritious contents. Lastly, it will regurgitate the unneeded egg shell in a neatly folded piece.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about this subject, be sure to check out the informational resources listed below.
|Brandon Cornett is the pubisher of Reptile Knowledge, an educational website full of information about lizards, turtles, snakes and other reptile species. Learn more by visiting http://www.reptileknowledge.com Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brandon_R._Cornett|
June 17 2009 03:38 pm | Uncategorized