파충류샵 Reptiles climbed out of their water-dwelling ancestors and onto land during the Paleozoic era over 280 million years ago. Today, snakes, lizards, turtles and crocodiles are living examples of reptile adaptations.
Their skeletal structure permits them to radiate heat and they have permeable skin covered with scales. Most have lungs to breathe.
Like fish and amphibians, reptiles are ectothermic animals that don’t generate their own internal body heat through chemical reactions. They therefore must regulate their body temperature through behaviour in order to be able to accomplish the tasks needed for survival. These include movement, feeding, and reproduction.
To achieve a steady body temperature, reptiles use a special pit organ to sense changes in ambient temperatures. The organ works like a thermometer and can detect very small increases or decreases in air temperature through the skin. When the pit organ is stimulated by infrared energy, it causes a steady discharge of impulses through nerve endings. The impulses are sent to the brain, which compares them with a stored reference. If the temperature is changing rapidly, the pit organ sends a stronger signal to the body that it needs to warm up or cool down.
As a result, a reptile’s heart rate may increase or decrease rapidly as it moves between thermally different environments. This is known as behavioural thermoregulation and is a common adaptation found among ectothermic reptiles. It is believed that a rapid heart rate helps to heat the body faster and to maintain a relatively high body temperature for longer during the day.
For example, a burrowing form of lizard might seek shelter from cold weather by lying in the ground or under a rock and increasing its resting heart rate as 파충류샵 it moves from one position to another. This allows the lizard to warm itself quickly by absorbing solar radiation and by reducing the time it takes to return its heart rate to normal.
Many lizards can drop their tails to distract and evade predators, a behaviour known as caudal autotomy. This is possible because lizards are born with a line of weakness in their tail, technically called a fracture plane. When a lizard feels threatened by a predator, the muscles along the fracture plane pull away from one another rather than knitting together – a condition known as hyperalgesia – and this triggers the autotomy.
This enables the lizard to disconnect its tail from its body without losing consciousness. The lizard then drops its tail and moves away from the predator, hoping to distract it. If the lizard is not successful, its head is likely to be grabbed by the predator while it is still disconnected from its body. This forces the lizard to move faster and in a more aggressive manner, increasing the chances of its survival.
Although a few modern squamates are capable of autotomy, the capacity evolved multiple times in the lepidosaur branch of reptilian evolution. In particular, caudal autotomy was first observed in Early Permian captorhinids.
The ability to break off a portion of the tail is most commonly seen in agamid lizards (family Rhynchocephalia), monitors and true chameleons (families Xantusiidae, Anguidae, Lacertidae and Iguanidae) and some snakes (family Colubridae). However, these species are unable to regenerate the entire length of their lost tails. In contrast, the articular caudal vertebrae of small captorhinids from the Richards Spur locality in Oklahoma display fracture planes that are identical to those present in lizards capable of autotomy.
Hiding Places for Security
Reptiles need places to hide in order to feel safe from predators and prey. While your home may not be the same as their natural habitat, it is still important to provide hiding spots to make them feel comfortable. Without enough places to hide, they can become stressed and will not be able to practice their natural behaviors.
Many snakes use their tails as a defensive display by waving them in the air, coiled tightly or moved in a way that mimics a striking head (pipe snakes, coral and shield tailed snakes, ring necked snakes, burrowing pythons, sand boas and rubber boas). A portion of these displays involve bluffs and threats which are usually followed by a rapid expansion of the lungs and a hissing sound that echoes off the scales of the body.
In some species such as the bushmaster (Lachesis muta) or the pine snake (Pseudophis texana) a septum at the glottal opening is added to amplify the hiss. While this behavior is intended to deter predators it can also be misinterpreted as a sign of disease or injury and a veterinarian may get a call from a pet owner asking about an injured snake.
Water-Walking, Sidewinding and Other Remarkable Reptile Adaptations offers a solid scientific basis for the biological topics presented while remaining accessible to non-biologists and even children ages 5 to 9. Illustrated in full color, this book is a must-have for anyone interested in these amazing animals.
Reptiles have many adaptations that help them survive and thrive in their natural environments. These include how they regulate body temperatures, find food and hide from predators. These behaviors and structural morphologies are very important to understanding reptiles and their habitats. They also affect how pet reptiles should be cared for.
Reptilian ancestors left their aquatic habitats to become terrestrial (land-living) animals during the Paleozoic era, 280 million years ago. The majority of reptiles are ectothermic, meaning they depend on outside environmental factors for their body heat rather than internal metabolic processes. They exhibit behavioral adaptations to help regulate their body temperatures, such as basking in sunny areas to warm up and finding shady spots or burrowing underground to cool down.
In addition, reptiles often use a bluffing behavior to deter predators. Pine snakes, for example, puff up their bodies and exhale air rapidly in a loud hiss. This behavior serves to increase the animal’s size and is a type of warning signal. Other reptiles will “hide” in crevices or rocks and absorb the reflected heat from these objects to maintain their core temperature, a process known as thigmothermy.
All reptiles find their food in different ways. Some, such as geckos and skinks, are insectivores. Others, such as snakes and crocodiles, are carnivores. To avoid malnutrition, some reptiles store food for later use or bury it.