What Is a Reptile?
It is used in leather-wares for decorative purposes for shoes, belts and handbags, particularly crocodile skin. Can she also eat a raw diet safely? Finches do not simply bite the seeds; instead; the lower mandible is moved toward the tip of the bill in a slicing motion. The hormone gastrin stimulates the secretion of these juices, which contain water, inorganic salts, hydrochloric acid , mucin, and several enzymes. Crickets, super worms, silkworms and horn worms. Unlike hibernation, in which mammals are actually asleep, brumating reptiles are awake but inactive.
Their digestion process is slower than that in mammals due to their inability of mastication and their low metabolism rate while resting. The energy requirements for their poikilotherm metabolism are very low which allows large animals from this class such as various constrictors and crocodiles to survive for months from one large meal, digesting it slowly.
Herbivorous reptiles are also unable to masticate their food, which slows down the digestive process. Some species are known to swallow pebbles and rocks that help in grinding up plant matters within the stomach, assisting their digestion. The basic nervous system in the Reptiles is similar to that in the Amphibians. But, Reptiles have slightly larger cerebrum and cerebellum. Most of the important sensory organs are properly developed in these creatures.
However, there are certain exceptions such as the absence of external ears in snakes they have the inner and middle ears. Reptiles have twelve cranial nerve pairs.
They have to use electrical tuning for expanding the range of their audible frequencies because they have short cochlea. These animals are believed to be less intelligent compared to mammals and birds because the relative size of their brain and body is much smaller than that of the latter.
However, the brain development can be more complex in some larger Reptiles. Modern species also have pineal glands in their brains. Most of these animals are tetrapods, meaning they have four legs. Snakes are examples of legless Reptiles.
Their skeletal system is similar to other tetrapods with a spinal column supporting their bodies. Their excretory system consists of two small kidneys. The diapsid species excrete uric acid as the principal nitrogenous waste product. But, turtles excrete mainly urea. Some of these species use their colons for reabsorbing water, while some are able to absorb the water stored in their bladders.
Certain Reptiles excrete the excess salts in their bodies through the lingual and nasal salt glands. Reptiles have certain characteristic features that help in distinguishing them from Amphibians, Mammals and Aves:. They are capable of adapting to almost all kinds of habitats and environmental conditions, except for extremely cold regions. These animals can inhabit dry deserts, forests, grasslands, wet meadows, shrub lands and even marine habitats. Reptiles are capable of adapting to extremely high temperatures because they are cold blooded.
Various snakes including the Rattle Snakes and King Snakes as well as different lizards like the Gila Monsters live in desert habitats. Grassland is another common type of habitat for various snakes and lizards e.
Garter Snakes, Fox Snakes. The vegetation in this habitat attracts many insects and rodents, making it easier for the Reptiles to catch prey. Swamps and large water bodies are inhabited by different Reptiles such as crocodiles, alligators, certain turtles and snakes. Animals like the Saltwater Crocodile and Marine Iguana inhabit seaside, travelling in and out of ocean as necessary.
Some species, such as the Sea Snakes and Sea Turtles, live in the ocean. They leave the waters only during the breeding season for laying eggs. These animals typically practice sexual reproduction with some specific species using asexual reproduction. Majority of these animals are amniotes, laying eggs covered with calcareous or leathery shells. The eggs are generally laid in underground burrows dug by the females. The viviparity and ovoviviparity modes of reproduction are used by many species such as all boas and many vipers.
However, the level of viviparity may vary with some species retaining their eggs until shortly before hatching while others nourish the eggs for supplementing the yolks. In some Reptile species, the eggs do not have any yolk with the adults providing all the necessary nourishment through a structure resembling the mammalian placenta.
Six lizard families and one snake family from the Squamata sub-group are known to be capable of agamogenesis or asexual reproduction. In some squamate species, the females are capable of giving birth to unisexual diploid clones of themselves. This type of asexual reproduction is known as parthenogenesis, occurring in various teiid lizards, geckos and lacertid lizards. Komodo dragons have reproduced through parthenogeny in captivitiy. Like many mammals, birds and Amphibians, their embryonic life consists of an amnion, chorion, as well as an allantois.
The incubation period may vary depending on the species and other factors like the temperature of the surroundings. Usually, hatchlings are able to take care of themselves almost immediately after coming out of the eggs.
But, the females of some species are known to protect their eggs and hatchlings. For example, female Pythons coil themselves around the eggs in order to protect them and regulate their temperature. Similarly, crocodiles are known to guard their young after the eggs hatch. TDSD or temperature-dependent sex determination can be observed in many Reptiles.
In TDSD, the incubation temperature determines the sex of the offspring. This characteristic is most commonly seen in crocodiles and turtles, but can also occur in tuataras and lizards.
Different food habits can be observed between the four sub-groups. Animals belonging to the Crocodilia, Squamata and Sphenodontia sub-groups are carnivores, feeding on a wide range of prey from vertebrates to fish and insects. The Testudines are herbivorous in nature with their diet comprising of fruits, shrubs, leaves, grass and marine plant materials like kelp and algae.
The populations of many Reptilian species are facing rapid decline due to various factors like deforestation, loss of habitat, hunting for hide and to use them for edible purposes. Various Reptile populations have faced extinction in some specific locations.
Due to these reasons, many species are protected by law in most of the countries where they are found. Many Reptile species, including various lizards and turtles, are very popular all over the world as exotic pets. There is a widespread popularity even for the venomous snakes, especially among keen animal lovers. However, there is a common misconception that these animals do not need as much care as required by mammal pets.
The truth is that, Reptiles need to be taken care of properly; otherwise, they cannot survive in captivity. They should be kept in large tanks or cages where they can move freely. It is not advisable to keep more than one to two animals in a single enclosure. Their tanks should have suitable substrate and the animals should be provided with special heating lamps to allow them to bask and maintain their body temperature.
The temperature of the tanks needs to be monitored with the help of thermostats. Heating pads can also be used for this purpose. Custom made cages can also be used for this purpose as these mimic the natural habitat of a specific species in the best manner possible. It is advisable to place stones, pieces of wood and small plants in their tanks to provide them with basking spots.
Using a fogger to mist the enclosure may be advisable for certain species. When keeping snakes or poisonous lizards as pets, one should keep in mind not to handle them with bare hands. One should do extensive research and read appropriate books regarding how to best take care of them before petting any Reptilian animal.
These pets can survive as much as mammalian pets of similar size when properly taken care of. The Ringneck Snake is a species of small North American snakes that belong to the harmless colubrid family. The Banded Water Snake also called the southern water snake is a species of aquatic snake widely distributed in parts of the United States.
The Water Monitor is a species of giant monitor lizard found in parts of South and Southeast Asian countries. These semi-aquatic reptiles are common t. The African Fat-tailed Gecko is a species of lizard abundantly spread throughout the western regions of the continent of Africa. Often confused with i. Black caimans found in South America are the fourth largest extant member of the crocodile family.
These robust reptiles were almost hunted to extinct. Dwarf caimans found in South America are the smallest crocodilian belonging to the alligator family. It is one of the two members in its genus, the ot. The Emerald Tree Boa is a non-venomous boa species that is considered to be one of the most beautiful snakes in the world. They are known for their cr.
Common leopard geckos, also known as the spotted fat-tailed gecko, are terrestrial lizards found in Asia. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Reptile Classification According to the taxonomy, they belong to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata and the clade Amniota. The Reptilia class is further divided into several extant sub-groups: There are around species in this sub-group, including turtles, tortoises and terrapins.
This subgroup includes the two living tuatara species from New Zealand. This is the biggest sub-group of the Reptilia class, having over 9, species including lizards, worm lizards and snakes.
This subgroup consists of 25 different species including crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gavials. Reptile Defense Mechanism The useful defenses of these animals help them to survive in their wild habitat.
New York state is home to 18 species of salamanders plus one "complex" or group of closely related species , 11 species of frogs , and 3 species of toads. Some of these species are widespread throughout the entire state and others are restricted to much smaller regions. Amphibians can be exposed to harmful pollutants and contaminants in the environment through their porous skin.
Globally amphibians are facing catastrophic declines due to a fungus called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis , also known as chytrid fungus or Bd. Like amphibians, chytrid thrives in moist environments. Chytrid effects the inside of cells containing keratin a protein in hair, feathers, and claws on the outside of the amphibian's skin. The fungus creates thick, unnatural keratin cells that make it impossible for amphibians to breath and take up water through their skin.
Chytrid fungus can infect and kill native amphibians. Volunteers can help amphibians like wood frogs, spotted salamanders, American toads, or spring peepers safely cross the road. The Herp Atlas Project was a ten year survey designed to document the geographic distribution of New York State's amphibians and reptiles. The survey information is used to monitor changes in reptile and amphibian populations, which guide habitat and wildlife management decisions.
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