Thursday, January 12, 2012

Insight on Facts About Reptiles

This article illustrates the amazing diversity found within the animal kingdom. Below I have assembled what I feel are some of the most interesting facts about reptiles and their behavior.

Interesting Facts Reptile

    * There are over 8000 species of reptiles on the planet and life on all continents except Antarctica (where it is too cold).
    * Most reptiles can not stand the cold very well. Blanding's turtle but (Emydoidea blandingii) is sometimes found swimming under the ice in the Great Lakes, USA.
    * Reptiles are among the longest species on the planet. For example, Aldabra giant tortoises such as tortoise lives for over 150 years. Alligators can live nearly 70 years. Ball Python, a popular type of pet snake can live up to 40 years (think before you as a pet).
    * The majority of snakes in the world (nearly two-thirds) are not toxic. Only about 500 species of snakes are poisonous, and of these only 30 to 40 considered harmful to humans. In other words, less than 2 percent of all hoses considered harmful to humans.
    * The fact that more Americans die each year from bees than from stabbing snake bites.
    * With respect to reptiles actually # 4 above, the opposite is the case in Australia. There are actually more poisonous snakes in Australia than non-poisonous snakes. The inner Taipan is one of the most popular of these poisonous Australian snakes. Australia is the only continent where venomous snakes surpass non-poisonous snakes.
    * Certain types of snakes can go months without eating. This is especially true for large pythons, reticulated python and the like Anaconda. Snakes eat large meals (relative to their body size) and they have much slower metabolism than we humans have. This partly explains how they 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, meaning their body heat gain from external sources. Reptiles can not regulate their body temperature internally as humans do.
    * Snakes and lizards flick their tongues in the air to absorb odor particles. They do not smell through their nose, like you and me instead, they use their tongues to collect scent particles and then along the particles over something like 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) prefer to dine on eggs of other animals. It will swallow the egg whole, and then small "spikes" extending internally from his back to crack the egg open and swallow the nutritious contents. Finally, the excess eggshell broke into a neatly folded piece.

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