Think you know everything there is to know about reptiles!?
Think again! Our cold blooded friends have many peculiarities about them, which make them so unique. Here are 10 amazing things you didn’t know about Aussie reptiles.
1. Australia is home to about 14% of the world’s reptilian population
That is a total of 869 reptile species! Whats more, 93% of them are unique to Australia! Species found on our continent include monitors, sea turtles, pythons and crocodiles.
2. The Australian Crocodile is the largest living reptile in the world
Also known as the Saltwater or Estuarine Crocodile, the adults’ size is an average of 3 to 5 metres in length! Wildlife Habitat is home to 6 Saltwater Crocodiles, and with daily feeding presentations you have the chance to meet them in real life and learn more about them from our experienced Wildlife Team!
3. Reptiles are ectothermic
Ectothermic animals can also be referred to as ‘cold-blooded’. This means the animal’s body temperature depends on external sources such as the sun, or warm surfaces.
4. Not all reptiles give birth the same way
Some reptiles give birth by laying eggs, while others give birth to live young.
5. Reptiles have scales
Scales provide protection for these animals from both the environment and other predators. It also means that they can hold in more water, and as such are able to live in dryer climates.
6. The first reptiles were thought to have evolved around 320 million years ago
This was during the Carboniferous period!
7. Soil temperature determines a reptile hatchlings gender
This is known as temperature-dependent sex determination, and essentially means that the temperature of developing eggs is what decides whether the offspring will be male or female.
8. Reptiles can cry
Studies have found that it’s not only humans that can cry! Reptiles and other animals are also able to cry, and this is a critical part of healthy eyesight.
9. Reptiles inhabit every continent other than Antarctica
This is due to the extreme cold temperatures experienced in Antarctica. Because reptiles are cold blooded and rely on an external heat source to survive, they are more predominantly found in warmer climates.
10. Large reptiles can live several months on only a single meal
Reptiles have low energy needs, which allows them to live in areas where food is in short supply.
One final fact! True of false? You can swim with a Saltwater Crocodile. TRUE! At Wildlife Habitat we have just opened a unique swim experience that puts you in the water with Australia’s largest reptile! Find out more about how you can Swim With The Salties.