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Reptiles and Birds. Reptiles . Reptiles Body Plan. Contrary to common belief, reptile scales can be smooth or rough, and they are never slimy. The basic reptilian body plan includes a well developed skull, a backbone and tail, two limb girdles, and four limbs.

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reptiles body plan
Reptiles Body Plan
  • Contrary to common belief, reptile scales can be smooth or rough, and they are never slimy.
  • The basic reptilian body plan includes a well developed skull, a backbone and tail, two limb girdles, and four limbs.
  • The only two reptiles that do not follow this plan are turtles (which have a hard shell fused to their vertebrae) and snakes (which have no limbs).
  • Reptiles are “heated from the outside.” Because of this, they are called ectotherms and they lack effective insulation so they need to gain additional heat by laying in the sun.
  • Skeletal
feeding
Feeding
  • Some reptiles are herbivores while others are carnivores.
  • The way reptiles get their prey vary. Some snakes paralyze with a powerful venom while others suffocate their prey by wrapping tightly around them.
respiration and internal transport
Respiration and Internal Transport
  • Since gasses are unable to diffuse easily across the scaly skin of reptiles, all reptiles have well-developed lungs, to help in this area.
  • To help with this area also, reptiles have muscles attached to their rib cage to enable their lungs to inflate and deflate. Diagram
  • Additionally, reptiles have a double-loop circulatory system to allow the blood to first pass through the lungs and then to the remainder of the body. Diagram
  • Although there are exceptions, most reptiles have a “not quite four-chambered heart because the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood mix in a few areas.
excretion
Excretion
  • Reptiles that live primarily in the water (like alligators and crocodiles) excrete most of their nitrogenous wastes in the form of ammonia.
  • Many other reptiles covert their waste into uric acid.
  • The excretion of uric acid presents two benefits over ammonia:
    • 1. Uric acid is less toxic.
    • 2. It is not soluble in water.
  • As a result, reptiles with uric acid excretion are better able to conserve water because the urine flows into an organ called the cloaca, where crystals of uric acid form a semisolid paste. By getting rid of these dry wastes, water is able to be conserved. Diagram
nervous system and sense organs
Nervous System and Sense Organs
  • Reptiles have brains similar to Amphibians, except reptiles have a bigger cerebrum and cerebellum.
  • Reptiles have really good vision.
  • According to the Biology textbook, most snakes probably see more colors than you do!
movement
Movement
  • Reptiles have large and strong legs that easily support their body weight.
  • Their strong limbs allow for many actions to be performed, including running, swimming, burrowing, and climbing.
reproduction
Reproduction
  • Reptiles are the first vertebrates to live without relying on water.
  • This is because their eggs are fertilized internally, and then develop into an amniotic egg meaning an embryo surrounded by a leathery external shell.
works cited
Works Cited
  • Turtle diagrams:
    • http://www.bio.davidson.edu/Courses/anphys/2000/Pleasants/resp.htm
    • http://www.bio.davidson.edu/Courses/anphys/2000/Pleasants/circ.htm
  • All pictures are from clipart!