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The descendants of the extinct dinosaurs are countless reptiles. The list of reptilian animals numbers around ten thousand species. All of them breathe with their lungs, and their skin is covered with horny scales that protect it from drying out. There are 72 species of reptiles living in our country alone.
There are approximately ten thousand species of reptiles in the list of reptiles.
The class of reptiles includes a particular group of cold-blooded animals and has a number of anatomical features. The limbs are arranged on both sides and are widely spaced. During movement, the body of the reptile drags on the ground, which does not prevent it to be swift and skillful when threatened or hunted.
In prehistoric times, this species lived in the water. In the process of evolution, they converted to a terrestrial existence due to their cellular lungs, dry body covering and internal fertilisation. As they grow, animals periodically molt.
In common with fish and amphibians, they have the ability to regulate their body temperature according to environmental conditions. In winter they lose activity and hibernate. In southern latitudes with a hot microclimate, many of them are nocturnal. A dense horny veil and the absence of glands in the epidermis prevent them from losing moisture.
Reptiles are found on all continents apart from Antarctica. Their populations are exceptionally numerous in tropical and subtropical areas.
Especially viable species are found in the Russian Federation. The list of names of reptile animals inhabiting approximately all regions of our country is quite extensive. It includes:
Turtles – Far Eastern, Mediterranean, leatherback, Caspian, European marsh and tadpole.
Lizards – grey and Caspian gecko, spotted and long-eared round-headed lizards.
Snakes – vipers, urchins, copperheads and yellow-bellied lizards.
Reptiles include lizards, snakes and turtles.
All representatives of this class, living in a temperate microclimate, are not large and choose small areas for residence, so they are unable to migrate far. They are characterized by high fecundity. Females lay dozens of eggs. The population density on one hectare may reach one hundred and twenty individuals. Feeding features play an important role in biological indication of nature.
Reptiles reproduce on the land surface. Even those that spend most of their lives in water leave their habitat. The conjugal period is accompanied by increased activity and bouts of males. Exceptionally often this is tracked in lizards and turtles.
Most reptiles are egg-laying reptiles. Some species retain the egg in the oviduct until the offspring matures. These animals are egg-living reptiles.
Reptiles are naturally endowed with a high capacity for survival and species persistence
Description of the individual species
Reptiles are naturally endowed with a high capacity for species survival and persistence. Both herbivorous and predatory reptiles are found in the wild. The list of names includes:
Turtles number around three hundred species. They are found all over the world. These harmless animals are often kept as pets. They are among the longest-living reptiles. Under favourable conditions, they live up to two to fifty years.
Their tough shell protects them from predators, and their body weight and size depend on their genus and habitat. Sea turtles can weigh about a ton and have considerable size. Some terrestrial species are small, weighing about 125 grams and with a carapace length of 10 centimetres.
The head is small, which allows it to retract quickly under the shell in the event of a threat. The reptile has four limbs. The feet of terrestrial animals are designed for digging, while sea creatures have turned them into flippers.
Crocodiles are particularly insecure reptile animals. The names of some species correspond to their habitat. The most famous of these are:
the marine crocodile or crested crocodile;
Crocodiles are divided into the gavial, caiman and alligator families. They differ in the shape of their jaws and body size.
Lizards are voracious members of the fauna. Most of them are small and highly regenerative. They inhabit different parts of the planet, and are well adapted to different climatic latitudes.
The largest lizard of the genus is the Komodo varan. Named after the island of the same name it inhabits. Outwardly resembling something between a dragon and a crocodile. They give a deceptive impression by their clumsiness. They are, however, excellent runners and swimmers.
Snakes are among the list of animal reptiles that lack limbs. Because of their elongated body shape, their internal organs have the same structure. More than three hundred pairs of ribs arranged along each body help to make elastic movements. The triangular head allows the snake to swallow its prey whole.
There are a large number of different snakes in nature. Many of them are poisonous. The venom of some is capable of killing within minutes. Scientists have long since learned to use snake venom as a medicine and antidote.
Snakes without venomous glands include common snakes and pythons. The largest snake in the world lives on the shores of the Amazon and is called the anaconda. It kills its prey with the help of its strong musculature by wrapping rings around it.
Sea snakes due to water pressure have no round shape and resemble a wriggling ribbon. They are very dangerous to humans as they produce a highly toxic poison. Once on land, they die within a few hours. They settle at the mouths of rivers flowing into the sea. They rarely swim away from the shore.
Difference from amphibians
Compared with amphibians, reptiles are better adapted to life on land. Their musculature is perfectly differentiated. This explains their ability to make quick and diverse movements.
The digestive system is longer. Their jaws are equipped with sharp teeth, which assist in chewing even the toughest foods. Blood supply is mixed, dominated by arterial blood. Therefore, they have a higher metabolic rate.
Difference between turtles
Compared to amphibians, reptiles are better adapted to terrestrial life
The brain size is larger relative to the body than that of amphibians. Behavioural features and sensory organs are well adapted to terrestrial life.
Among the most fascinating and rare reptiles are those that possess anatomical features unlike any other species. A particularly fascinating representative of this unique fauna is the Gatteria. It is found only in one place – New Zealand. While it looks similar to lizards, it does not belong to the genus of these reptiles. Its internal organs are similar to those of a snake.
In appearance similar to lizards, the gaetteria does not belong to the genus of these reptiles.
Has three eyes, in contrast to other animals, with an additional visual organ at the back of the head. Can hold its breath for a minute without breathing. The torso is half a metre long and weighs about one kilogram.
It is a nocturnal predator. It prefers to feed on small animals, crawling and flying insects. Lives a maximum of 100 years.
The unique characteristics of the reptiles have attracted the interest of biologists and animal lovers. Some species are not fully studied due to their secretive lifestyle and remote habitats. Even the most insecure predators contribute to the ecological balance of the planet and need to be protected from extinction.