Reptiles – Which Animals Are Called Reptiles?
Reptiles are cold-blooded animals. Their skin contains thick scales or scutes, which prevent body water loss via permeable pores on their bodies to their environments. Choose the reptiles for sale online.
Reptiles typically lay hard-shelled eggs; however, certain species produce live young, such as crocodiles and lizards.
Reptiles are cold-blooded, air-breathing vertebrates that have roamed Earth for 315 million years. Reptiles feature scaled rather than furry coats like pet hamsters or feathery plumage like birds; most lay eggs, while others, such as viviparous snakes, give birth to live with unique mechanisms designed to distribute nutrients directly from mother to fetus during gestation.
Reptiles are all ectothermic, meaning their body temperature is controlled externally by environmental temperatures. This allows them to thrive in environments hostile to warm-blooded mammals and birds, which must regulate their body temperatures internally.
Reptiles that can change color, such as the veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus), are well-known for their fantastic skin ability to attract mates or assert dominance over others. This characteristic makes these reptiles among our favorites among reptiles!
Reptiles are easily distinguished from amphibians by their scaled skin, egg-laying behavior (with some species delivering live young), and specialization of lungs for breathing air or water, respectively. These features help differentiate them from animals, such as amphibians, that rely solely on these mediums for respiration.
Reptiles that belong to the squamate family, which includes snakes and lizards, first emerged during the late Permian Period as four-limbed vertebrates descended from dinosaurs and crocodiles.
Most squamate reptiles are oviparous or egg-laying reptiles. But some species, such as boas and Basiliscus lizards, produce live young. These viviparous reptiles feed their offspring via a non-mammalian placenta rather than an eggshell. With specially tailored organs to protect and care for their offspring in dryland environments, their reproductive abilities allow them to reproduce successfully in dry climates.
Misconceptions about turtles as amphibians often lead to them being misidentified as reptiles when in fact, all living turtles are reptiles – this includes sea turtles which spend most of their lives underwater but must come up to the surface for air at specific points during their lives.
Turtles, like other reptiles, possess hard shells with fused scutes. Being cold-blooded creatures, turtles regulate their body temperatures by basking in sunlight to warm themselves or submerging themselves in water to cool themselves down.
Modern turtle skulls stand out among vertebrates by lacking temporal fenestrae (holes) behind most other reptiles and mammals’ eyes. Combined with the rapid expansion of mouth and throat cavities, this trait allows some turtle species, such as South America’s matamata turtle, to consume passing prey quickly.
Crocodiles are semi-aquatic reptiles living on land and water, commonly found throughout Africa, Asia, and North and South America.
Like other reptiles, crocodiles feature thick scales that protect their bodies and the hard-shelled eggs they produce. Cold-blooded and with dry skin, unlike amphibians with scaley skin, they make great predators of fishes such as tuna.
Crocodiles stand out among other reptiles because they possess claws. In addition, their short legs and broad, rounded snout are well adapted to breathing underwater – something snakes, lizards, and turtles cannot do.
Crocodiles belong to the order Crocodilia and share an evolutionary link with birds due to both diverging from archosaurs–dinosaurs.
Birds may sometimes be classified as reptiles but do not fit neatly into this grouping. This is because Carolus Linnaeus’ 1730 Linnaean system of classification used physical characteristics to separate animals – birds cannot regulate their body temperatures like reptiles do, so they are classified as mammals in this classification system. By contrast, Willi Henning’s 1940 phylogenetic taxonomy organized animals based on ancestry: this includes birds, among many others that share an ancestor with reptiles such as birds, lizards snakes, snakes, turtles, and crocodiles all sharing an ancestor with reptiles.
Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates with scales, leathery or hard-shelled eggs, and bony skeletons. Additionally, reptiles share several other features, including one bone where their skull connects to their first vertebrae and an auditory bone — the stapes — that transmits vibrations from their eardrum to the inner ear.