The Magical World of Reptiles!
For as far as animal life is documented, Reptiles roamed the earth as kings and giants to be known and feared by all other species. Our modern Reptiles inherited specific features from Dinosaurs! Well, the gigantic size and scary roars are excluded. It is more interesting that Reptiles, including Lizards, Crocodiles, Turtles, and Snakes, amazed us by their remarkable adaptation ability. It helped them survive significant atmospheric and continent shifting circumstances for millions of years, which the Giant terrible lizards -known as dinosaurs- could not overcome!
Adaptation skills vary in Reptiles according to the surrounding environment. One of the most intelligent adaptation skills that we undoubtedly adore is their scaly skin that prevents Reptiles from drying out, giving them the power to travel and find food without the limitation of needing water surfaces around them. Also, Snakes scales are beneficial to help grip the ground and to glide fast! Another type of scale is the Turtles and Tortoises' that evolved to be a hard armor around their body, which can be almost impossible to bite!
Reptiles are cold-blooded animals. Their activity depends strongly on its temperature. As you know by now, these creatures will not give up and will survive anything! Hence, to control their body temperature, they use different behaviors and means to heat up or cool their body. For example, Lizards will look for shade or dip in a nearby lake when needed to cool.
Reptiles not only survived but outnumbered many other creatures like mammals. They are all around the world, from tropical forests to the driest deserts. What is fascinating is that Reptiles sizes vary from 16 mm, like the Dwarf Geckos, to 7 meters, like the Saltwater Crocodile and the Reticulated Python! Not to forget the large Komodo Dragon, that is our modern dinosaur with the deadliest bite ever! In addition to the enormous size, Reptiles, especially Turtles, are known for their extreme longevity. Many Turtles have long lived up to 80 years, like the Green Sea Turtle, and, however, the Nile Crocodile is known to live for up to 100 years. In Seychelles, a species of tortoises called the "Giant Tortoise" was proven to live up to 250 years! For sure, they carry all the centuries' wisdom on their hard shells!
People are mostly scared of Reptiles because of how they look or act when they see humans, which is often a defensive behavior! Reptiles defend themselves by camouflaging with the environment or avoiding the threat by going away either by crawling or diving out of sight for Crocodiles. Furthermore, Reptiles will hiss loudly to tell the enemy that they see them, while some Snakes will vibrate the end of their tails! Take this hint and run before the second defense line is used! Moreover, some creatures will try to change their body form to look larger or more dangerous to drive the enemy away and start striking or biting. So, make sure you don't cross the line with those creatures.
The Diversity of Reptiles in an area is clear evidence of a healthy and robust ecosystem that can support all the plants, animals, and other species. Many ecosystems fall because of the absence or lack of these creatures; this is because they are an essential component of the food webs; they have a critical role as predator and prey, not to mention they are nature's pest control!
How to help Reptiles to ensure a stable, healthy ecosystem? Easily don't cut trees, don't leave waste after a camping trip or a trip to the wild, use water and electricity wisely, reduce the use of plastic, paper, and fossil fuel. All of this will have a significant impact on the environment and pollution rates. Saving the environment is simple, but it is considered a responsibility to protect our earth and ourselves. Stay tuned for our revamped Reptile Park's opening to enjoy a face-to-face experience with the most fascinating Reptiles.