We all are aware of the fact about king cobra being the largest venomous snake in the world measuring 10-12 feet in length. But did you know that it is the only known snake that builds a nest for egg incubation? Strange and weird, but a true fact! And if that isn’t enough, take this one. Crocodiles are the largest reptiles, with the estuarine crocodile being the largest of them all, measuring 8 meters. These are just two of the many unknown and interesting facts about reptiles that are sure to surprise you and give you a tickle in your tummy. These air-breathing and cold-blooded animals called reptiles have their entire skin covered in scales. With the exception of Antarctica, reptiles are known to inhabit on every continent. Take a look at various interesting and fun facts about reptiles in the following text.
Interesting Facts About Reptiles
- Reptiles are classified into four living orders, namely, Crocodilia (crocodiles, gavials, caimans, alligators), Sphenodontia (tuataras), Squamata (lizards, snakes, worm lizards), and Testudines (turtles and tortoises).
- Lizards are known to be the largest group of reptiles with approximately 3,000 species, ranging from 2 inches to 10 feet in length. Interestingly, only two species, Gila Monsters and Beaded Lizards are poisonous.
- A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out since it is attached to the roof of its mouth.
- The longest recorded lifespan of a tapeworm is 35 years.
- The reticulated python is the longest snake known to grow over 28 feet (8.7 meter) in length, while the anaconda is the heaviest snake weighing 97.5 kg (214 lbs).
- The Tuatara is an extremely rare reptile found on just a few islands in New Zealand. Similar to a lizard, the Tuatara has a unique eye and jaw anatomy that distinguishes it from other reptile species. Also, it is adapted to living in temperatures as low as 6 degrees Celsius (43 degrees Fahrenheit), something unusual for reptiles, in general.
- The brain of a reptile is not larger than 1 percent of the body mass. This means, the brain of a 70-pound python is not even larger than a lima bean.
- The jaws of reptiles are structured in such a manner that they do not allow them to chew their prey. As such, they can only tear their food and thereafter, swallow it whole.
- The temperature at which the egg is incubated determines the gender of a turtle. As such, eggs laid in warmer temperatures produce females, while those in cooler temperatures produce males. Eggs hatched in moderate temperatures result in a mixed clutch. However, the situation reverses in case of crocodiles with warm temperatures giving birth to males and females at cooler temperatures.
- Reptiles are regarded as one of the longest-living species in the world. Say, for instance, large tortoises like the Aldabra tortoise can live up to 150 years. Similarly, alligators have a lifespan of over 70 years and ball pythons manage to live up to 40 years.
- Nearly two-thirds of the world’s snakes are non-venomous. This means that only around 500 species are poisonous. And amongst these, only 30-40 are harmful for human beings. In short, only 2% of the total snake population is harmful to humans. However, there are more venomous snakes than non-venomous snakes in Australia.
- You must have heard of the African egg-eating snake that loves to dine on the eggs of other animals. To continue the story, this snake swallows the entire egg and cracks it open using tiny “spikes” located in its spine. It then consumes the nutritious contents of the eggs and vomits out the unneeded egg shells in a neatly folded piece.
- About one-fifth snakes give birth to young ones contrary to the popular belief of them laying eggs. Rattlesnakes and boa constrictors are examples of snakes that bear live young.
- Some lizards have tongues that are unbelievably longer than their entire bodies.
- Most reptiles have a three-chamber heart with the exception of crocodiles and alligators having four-chambers.
- Did you know that reptiles do not have sweat-glands?
- The basilisk lizard is born with a unique ability to walk on water without sinking. It is due to this distinctive characteristic that it is also called “The Jesus Christ Lizard”.
- Though most reptiles are carnivorous finding their food in insects, other reptiles, and small animals, some reptiles are herbivorous, plant-eating animals.
- Surprisingly, turtles were present on the earth planet even before dinosaurs came into being.
Hope, this information must have brought light to many interesting facts about reptiles. So, the next time, you spot a snake, think twice before attacking it for it could just be one of the many harmless reptiles.