Humans find the class Reptilia very fascinating as they are one of the most diverse groups of animals, the spectrum of their physical attributes and behaviors is really broad.
You will find a lot of misunderstandings and myths about reptiles today but they are less than in the past because now we know more about these creatures and their lives.
Interesting Reptile Facts
1. More 8,000 species of reptiles live everywhere on the planet, except Antarctica.
2. "Cold-blooded" is not the right word. Their blood is not cold just they are ectothermic, and heat their body from external sources because they do not have an internal regulator of body temperature as humans do.
3. Reptiles are one of the longest-lived species on the Earth. Aldabra tortoise can live for more than 150 years. Some popular pet reptiles like ball pythons can live up to 40 years.
4. Only 2 percent of all snakes are harmful to humans.
5. The most popular venomous Australian snake is the inland taipan and there are more poisonous snakes than any other place in the world.
6. Americans die from bee stings more than from snake bites.
7. Snakes eat large meals compared to their body size and can go months without eating because their metabolisms is much slower than ours.
8. Most reptiles do not like the cold except the Blanding's turtle which lives under the ice in the Great Lakes region.
9. Snakes and lizards don't smell through their noses, they flick their tongues to collect scent particles in the air and hunt for food. They have a Jacobson's organ to decipher the air.
10. The African egg-eating snake swallows whole eggs and then use tiny "spikes" which it has in its spine to crack the egg then regurgitates the egg shell in a neatly folded piece.
11. Chameleons do not change their color, they are naturally camouflaged, and predominantly green they only change their brightness by darkening or brightening their skin when they need to regulate their temperature or when they are frightened or angry.
12. Snake skulls consist of many small bones which are connected in a flexible fashion, not like a human skull, which is solid. That's why snakes can expand their jaws and heads so they can eat prey larger than themselves. A garter snake, for instance, swallows a frog twice bigger than its head. Think about anacondas and what can go in their jaws!
13. The idea that reptiles are slimy is completely wrong they just do not have sweat glands and their skin is dry and cool.
14. Their scales are made of keratin, the same substance that makes up our hair and fingernails.
15. Young snakes shed their skin more often than older ones because they grow faster the first two years of their lives.
16. The reticulated python is the longest snake and can exceed up to 10 meters. The largest snake by overall size and weight is the anaconda which weighs over 300 pounds.
17. The largest of the poisonous snakes is the king cobra with its length of about 6 meters and weight of 20 pounds.
18. Gecko tails is actually a defensive tool which they will wiggle to lure the attacking enemy. If the animal bites onto the tail, the gecko detaches the tail and it escapes. A new tail grows in place of the old tail.
19. Most snakes lay eggs, but there are also snakes like rattlesnakes and boa, for example which bear live young.
20. In Georgia and Texas some people organize "rattlesnake roundups", they gather rattlesnakes and slaughter them because they think that those snakes evil or malicious. Let's hope that this practice will be outlawed.
21. Reptiles deserve respect from us as they are the oldest type of animal on the planet. Turtles have been here for more than 200 million years.
These interesting facts merely to give you a glimpse into the fascinating world of reptiles.