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All About Reptiles: The Scaly Vertebrates


 

There are over 10,000 species of reptiles and they can be found all around the world. Many different types of people enjoy watching these scaly vertebrates and learning about their habits. This blog post is going to go over some facts that you may not know about reptiles!

 

Description and Appearance

 

Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates which means they have backbones and internal skeletons. They are the sister group to birds, crocodilians, turtles, lizards, and snakes who fall under this category of creatures.  Reptiles are often mistaken for fish because they are cold-blooded, but in fact, reptiles breathe air and can lay eggs outside of water.

 

Most reptiles have four legs with five toes on the front legs and four on the back ones. They all have sharp claws which they use to secure themselves in trees, grasses, or even on rocks. Many reptiles have different types of scales on their bodies which are made out of keratin, the same material as fingernails. Different species have different colors on their scales, but most snake scales are just a simple one color. Some snakes' eggs even have an outer membrane on them to protect them from other animals trying to eat them.

 

Over half of reptiles in the world are snakes, but not all of them have internal skeletons. Some snake species actually have no legs or arms and they only slither along the ground by pushing their bodies up against the floor with their scales. Other types of legless lizards can run very quickly on four legs because their bodies are shaped like a star to help them move more quickly.

 

Slithering up against the floor indeed, Gage Beasley’s Cobra Snake Soft Stuffed Plush Toy is your resident snake friend—ready to bind you softly and hug you throughout the day. Almost 200 cm long, this snake won’t be dangerous enough to kill—but it is dangerous enough to put you to sleep.

Gage Beasley’s Cobra Snake Soft Stuffed Plush Toy

 

A very interesting fact about reptiles is that they never stop growing as long as they live! The only way for a reptile to stop growing is if it dies. Their bodies can continue to grow throughout their entire lifetime and some species of snakes can even grow up to ten feet long. The largest living reptile today is the saltwater crocodile and it can grow up to 23 feet long.

 

If we’re talking big crocodiles, we have one just for you—but it’s not what you think. It’s a lot softer, friendlier, and even huggable! Gage Beasley’s Large Crocodile Soft Stuffed Plushie is yours for the taking if you need something to guard the fort when you’re away.

Gage Beasley’s Large Crocodile Soft Stuffed Plushie

 

Diet

 

Reptiles are carnivores which means they only eat meat. Most reptiles will go hunting for food in the morning and at night so that it is not too hot out to hunt. They prefer prey that is smaller than their mouths because they cannot chew or digest food if it cannot fit inside of their bodies. This limits what types of prey some reptiles can eat. For example, some lizards cannot swallow whole pieces of fruit because their stomachs are too small to accommodate the fruit inside of their bodies.

 

Sometimes reptiles' prey is larger than they are so they have to use their sharp claws or teeth to tear it apart into pieces before swallowing it. A large saltwater crocodile may be able to kill a human while it is swimming in the water, but what does it do with its prey after that? It can eat up to 80 pounds of meat at a time and it has a very long digestive tract. Therefore, the croc will have to wait anywhere from 3-4 days before being able to eat again!

 

Reptiles are very strong hunters that can even kill prey larger than themselves! Some large aquatic crocodiles have been known to hunt hippos, sharks, and other large reptiles in the water. Snakes may also eat small mammals, birds, amphibians, or fish. When they swallow their food whole it goes down the esophagus first. Then, their body uses its muscles to move the food down into the stomach where it is broken down with digestive acids. Afterward, the undigested parts are moved along so that they can be excreted through the cloaca.

 

Reptiles can be very picky with their food and some of them, like pythons and rattlesnakes, only eat a couple of times a month. On the other hand, snakes such as boas and vipers will eat more often because they cannot go very long without eating again.

 

Reproduction

Male and female reptiles have different reproductive organs. Males have two testicles that produce sperm, a penis, and a pair of paddles called hemipenes which are used to move the sperm from their bodies. Females have a pair of ovaries where unfertilized eggs go to develop inside of their bodies. Then, when they lay their eggs, the females also have a layer of skin called "the shell gland" which helps to protect their eggs.

 

Some reptiles' eggs are very large for their body size and weight. These eggs contain nutrients that the baby will need when it hatches out of its eggshell. One example is crocodiles' eggs which can weigh several pounds each!

 

Snake eggs are very small in size because baby snakes grow inside of the eggshells. These eggs also contain nutrients for baby snakes to eat when they hatch. Snakes use their fangs to make a hole in their eggshells so that they can breathe before leaving their shells. Then, they will curl up into balls and use their muscles to push their tails against the wall of their eggshells until a small hole is formed. Their body slowly squeezes through the hole and they will hopefully have a fresh start once they emerge from their shell!

 

Reptiles use different ways to reproduce depending on what type of species they are. Some reptiles lay eggs that have very hard shells so that they can keep themselves protected while they develop inside of their eggs. Turtles, crocodiles, alligators, and some lizards are examples of reptiles that lay eggs that have hard shells.

 

Some lizards, such as geckos and spiny lizards, also lay eggs while others, such as iguanas, give birth to live young. In some lizards, the eggs do not have shells and they may even retain water so that the baby can stay hydrated until it is ready to hatch out of its egg! Some species of lizard can lay several batches of eggs with each one containing a different number of eggs inside.

 

Speaking of iguanas, if you ever wanted to have a scaly friend, then this reptile plush toy is for you! Gage Beasley’s Lifelike Green Iguana Lizard Soft Stuffed Plush Toy is everything a reptile lover needs. It’s cute, cuddly, and scarily-lifelike—three boxes checked!

Gage Beasley’s Lifelike Green Iguana Lizard Soft Stuffed Plush Toy

 

Distribution and Conservation Status

 

Reptiles are very distinctive creatures that can often be found in tropical forests, grasslands, deserts, and even marine areas like coral reefs. They are everywhere on earth except for Antarctica because they need warm temperatures to live!

 

The most endangered reptiles are tortoises due to the illegal animal trade. This is when animals are taken from their natural habitats against their will and are kept in different homes to be traded between people.

 

Many reptiles live in areas that are threatened by deforestation, poaching, or other activities that put them at risk for extinction. Sometimes humans hunt these animals so that they can use their meat or skin to make things like boots or jewelry! It is important for all of us to make sure that we are taking care of our environment and its wildlife because it is what supports life on earth!

 

Conclusion:

Reptiles are an amazing group of animals that come in a variety of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Some reptiles lay eggs while others give birth to live young and some can even switch between the two! At the end of the day, reptiles play important roles in the environments they live in and we should all do what we can to protect them for generations to come.

 

Cheers!

~GB


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