21 Interesting Facts About Reptiles

Reptiles are one of the most ancient creatures walking on our planet. Extinct dinosaurs, by the way, were also reptiles, and modern lizards and crocodiles are also partly their descendants. However, it is believed that mammals and reptiles once descended from a common ancestor. And how it was in reality – who knows?

  • Reptiles have more in common with birds than any other animals.
  • About 9400 species of reptiles live on Earth.
  • The largest land animals in the history of the planet, dinosaurs, are ancient reptiles. Their descendants in the modern world, oddly enough, are birds, not reptiles.
  • Most reptiles combine the features of the simplest amphibians and more highly developed vertebrates.
  • Chameleons are well known for their ability to change color depending on the circumstances – stripes and spots can appear and disappear on its body, skin color can quickly change from light yellow to purple and back, and so on. It was believed that this is how chameleons protect themselves from predators, but scientists have proven that these animals need a color change, first of all, to communicate with their relatives.
  • Diurnal reptiles see the world in a yellow-orange spectrum.
  • Many reptiles have a third eye – it is hidden under thin skin and serves as a reptile for orientation in space, determining the intensity of sunlight and the lines of force of the Earth’s magnetic field. Probably, the parietal eye also performs more complex functions, but scientists do not yet know which ones.
  • The eyes of some snakes and lizards are closed with a continuous transparent membrane that replaces the eyelids.
  • Snakes do not have eardrums, so they are very hard of hearing – these reptiles perceive sounds through vibrations of water or earth.
  • Turtles feel even the lightest touch on their shell.
  • Although all modern reptiles are cold-blooded animals, tegu lizards have learned to trigger a special chemical reaction in their bodies during the mating season, artificially raising the temperature in the body to attract partners.
  • In Australia, land crocodiles lived 40 thousand years ago, which did not enter the water at all.
  • Most reptiles can only make primitive sounds – for example, hiss or whistle.
  • The most massive snake on the planet is the anaconda, which can be almost 7 meters long. This reptile weighs from 30 to 70 kilograms. At the same time, the longest snake on Earth is recognized as a reticulated python, which grows to 7.5 meters.
  • The length of the chameleon’s tongue can reach 50 centimeters.
  • The skull bones of many snakes are mobile so that their owners can open their mouths extremely wide and swallow large prey.
  • Turtles appeared on Earth earlier than dinosaurs.
  • Most reptiles are lousy parents. They do not care about their offspring at all and rely on the independence of the babies born. The only exceptions to this rule are turtles.
  • Crocodiles do not know how to chew – they tear their victims apart and then swallow the resulting pieces. They even have a special tooth designed to dismember prey.
  • Over the course of a lifetime, alligators grow more than 3,000 new teeth to replace broken and lost ones.
  • The temperature in the place where the reptile eggs were laid affects the gender of the embryos in them.
Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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