- Reptiles existed long before human life began on earth - they are among the oldest animal species on earth and have existed for more than 300 million years.
- Reptiles are found on every continent except Antarctica. There are more than 8000 species worldwide.
- Reptiles are lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodiles as well as the lesser known groups of tuataras and amphibians.
- Reptiles have scales or horned plates that cover their bodies.
- Reptiles are cold blooded because they cannot regulate their own body temperature, they are dependant on the external temperature so you will often find them lying in the sun on rocks and logs.
- Most reptiles lay eggs which have leathery shells resistant to drying out, they fertilize their eggs internally and don't use water as a medium for laying eggs, some reptiles however, give birth to live young. In most species the young are independent from the moment they are hatched or born.
- The extinct dinosaurs were reptiles.
- The majority of reptiles have a three chambered heart.
- Reptiles do not form a distinct evolutionary group as birds or mammals do. The class reptilia consists of four (4) orders, which are very different from each other. Crocodilia refers to crocodiles and alligators, the order rhynchocephalia contain only (2) species known as tuataras, which are native to New Zealand, squamata refers to lizards, snakes and other similar creatures and all turtles and tortoises are included in the testudines order.
- Reptiles have waterproof skin.
- A crocodile cannot stick his tongue out but has the ability to grow new teeth to replace old teeth.
- Crocodile dung was used by the Egyptians as the first contraceptive in human history in 2000 B.C.
- Reptiles can survive long periods of time without eating.
- The earth is inhabited by at least 250 species of turtle, only seven (7) of which are known sea turtle species, 25 species of crocodilians, 5,500 species of snakes and 3,000 species of lizards, the largest reptile on earth is the saltwater crocodile which can grow up to 23 feet in length.
- There are more venomous snakes than non-venomous snakes in the Australian continent.
- Turtles were present on earth before the dinosaurs.
- Although reptiles breath through lungs, certain reptiles can absorb the oxygen in water through special membranes in their mouth, some reptiles also absorb water through their skin in a process known as osmosis.
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