Class Reptilia. Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Subphylum Vertebrata Class Reptilia Order Squamata (lizards & snakes) Order Testudines (turtles & tortoises) Order Crocodilia (alligators & crocodiles) Order Sphenodonta (tuatara). Characteristics of Reptiles.
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Kingdom AnimaliaPhylum ChordataSubphylum VertebrataClass ReptiliaOrder Squamata(lizards & snakes)Order Testudines(turtles & tortoises)Order Crocodilia(alligators & crocodiles)Order Sphenodonta(tuatara)
SCALES - Dry, scaly skin prevents loss of moisture and provides protection from predators.
Reptiles lay amniotic eggs on land. Amniotic eggs enclose the embryo in amniotic fluid, provide a source of food in the yolk, and surround both the embryo and food with a protective, leathery shell. These structures prevent injury and dehydration of the embryo as it develops on land.
ECTOTHERMIC (cold-blooded) - Reptiles cannot regulate their body temperatures. Their temperature is dependant on the temperature of their environment.
LUNGS - Reptiles have lungs and so they cannot breathe underwater. Since they have dry, scaly skin, they cannot carry out gas exchange through their skin like amphibians.
Most reptiles have 3-chambered hearts. Some reptiles, like alligators and crocodiles, have 4-chambered hearts. The 4-chambered hearts separate the oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood. This provides more oxygen to the body’s cells, and therefore provides more energy to the animal.
Reptiles have a variety of sense organs that help them to detect danger or food.
Some reptiles have heat-sensing organs.
Some reptiles can pick up chemical molecules with their tongues and use their Jacobson’s organ to determine what they are sensing.
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Tuatara: an ancient reptile from New Zealand that has teeth fused to the jaws and a very primitive skull.
Most other reptiles like it died out over 100 million years ago!