Reptiles: characteristics and types

Reptiles: characteristics and types

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Reptiles, crocodiles, alligators, turtles, lizards and many snakes are, but this category of vertebrates includes many other species unknown to most. It is the reptiles themselves the first great terrestrial creatures, just think that they have inhabited the Earth for more than 350 million years, they inhabit the Earth and spawn on or in the mainland, have on the body scales or plates, cold blood flows in their veins, this last characteristic means that their body temperature depends on that of the environment.

They therefore love the sun not because it tans them or puts them in a good mood, but because it warms them, so they live in temperate regions. Feeding on the sun's rays, they do not eat often, almost all have teeth, but apart from turtles, and they are mostly carnivores, always turtles apart.

Today the Reptiles are divided into 4 orders: the Cheloni (turtles), the Loricates (crocodiles and alligators), the Sauri (lizards) and the Ophidians (snakes).

Domestic reptiles

The habit or the desire, sometimes the claim, to have Domestic reptiles for the house it is more and more frequent, at times it is more than understandable, at other times it is an eccentric gimmick that can disturb the reptiles themselves, It is certainly not them who knock on our house, starting from the calm turtles, up to snakes and chameleons. Before coming up with this idea of ​​domestic reptiles, let's find out in depth why they are not like cats and dogs, they have the nature, habits and reactions of wild animals as they are.

For those who are convinced or want to get an idea of ​​the commitment, I begin to mention that the reptiles that require less time are usually snakes, an alternative less recommended are the saurians.

If among the possible Domestic reptiles we favor creepers, we have chosen those that are more manageable and that require little daily care, do not get very dirty and have slow digestion, so they eat once a week. It is also true that they need space compared to others Reptiles and on the menu they often expect both live and defrosted mice. It is not for everyone to want to keep them at home. The Italian legislation on the detention of snakes, different from that of other European countries.

Saurians are domestic reptiles that take up less space so they are more manageable and, very much appreciated, they do not eat mice but insects such as crickets, honey worms, or even vegetables. Unlike snakes, these animals digest quickly so they get even more dirty. These considerations are intended to be an introduction, to give an idea to potential owners of Reptiles,but it is essential to read up in depth about the species you want to host for avoid risky moves.

Flying reptiles

Between flying reptiles I want to present one which, although extinct, is the most interesting par excellence. The Pterosaur. It belongs to the Archosaurus reptiles, unfortunately appeared in the Upper Triassic and extinguished in the Cretaceous, in the meantime it has been haunted in northern Italy but also in Germany, England, India, USA, Chile and China.

In the span of time in which you could see the Pterosaurs, they have given birth to numerous species, over 120, both very large, with a wingspan of 12 meters, and very small, less than a thrush. What is surprising in these flying beings is the size of the forelimb, but also a kind of bone plate welded to numerous dorsal vertebrae, called notarium, able to absorb part of the tensions transmitted by the wings to the shoulder girdle. Particular, and scenographic, in some cases also the tail, long and thin, with one leaf-shaped tip.

Loricate reptiles

THE Loricati, one of the orders mentioned above, one of the 4, are crocodiles, alligators, caimans, gharials and other beings of this type, with armor, since the name loricati comes from the Latin "lorica" ​​which means armor. We are talking about carnivores, all of them are, and who prefer to live near a watercourse, whether it is a river, lake, pond or, more rarely, the sea.

The body of a reptile belonging to this order it is covered on the back by bony plates, then there are the paws, webbed, short but strong, and the tail, long and tapered. Also perfect for swimming. As for the head, its shape is triangular, the protruding and not very reassuring eyes are evident. The size of a loricate can vary from 1 to 8 meters, from 15 kg to 1 ton.

Reptiles with paws

It would just be boring, even useless, to make a list of those with legs and in many cases you can see it with your own eyes. Of this group I remember the nicest and most noteworthy as the land sea turtle, chameleons, iguana and flying dragon. Let's not forget the gecko and armadillo, lizard, crocodiles and caiman. And the gharial not to be confused with the well-known caviar. Which is not a reptile and it doesn't even have legs.

Reptiles with very hard skin

The classic example of hard skin is that of Turtles and crocodiles which have both an upper and a lower stratum corneum, unlike the saurians which are limited to a single upper lateral layer. In general, the skin of reptiles is formed by scales that change with each moult, serve to protect the internal organs and to camouflage the animal, is rich in nerve endings that make it very sensitive to touch.

As for the moult, when the skin is very hard as for crocodiles and turtles, tiny pieces similar to dandruff are produced, the effect seen on snakes on which the old skin comes out perfectly is very different, in the saurians it still changes: it falls in flaps.

Italian reptiles

In Italian panorama today we can count 54 different species of living reptiles, in the wild, sedentary or habitual transit. In this census we have not included those sighted once or in private homes or on farms but without having suffered a acclimatization or indigenation process.

In the group of Italian reptiles I want to name those who are the only representatives of their subcategory. Between Phillodactylidae, the Gecko, among the Spherodactylids the Tarantolino, in the Anguids we have only the Italian Orbettino, among the Dermochelids the Turtle lute while the Lacertine snake he is the only one among the Lamprofids who lives in Italy.

Prehistoric reptiles

To not get bored and touch with hand living beings that have not been living for millennia, I suggest a fun set of prehistoric animals small in size but useful for learning to associate names and appearance. There are Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Utahraptor, Spinosaurus and our Pterosaurus, online is for sale at the price of a children's game which is.

While we wait for this set to arrive, we begin to learn something about the protagonists: the tyrannosaurus is a fearsome carnivore, the triceratops we will recognize it for the beaked snout, for the three horns and the bony collar while the Stegosaurus has very evident bony scales, excellent for defense. The others I let you know about people, just a few words about Spinosaurus which with its huge sails never goes unnoticed.

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Video: Building a dinosaur from a chicken. Jack Horner (November 2022).