Division and Classification Essay (Reptiles)

1367 WordsDec 18, 20116 Pages
Division and Classification Essay Animals that breath air and have scales on the exterior of their body are referred to as reptiles. Reptiles have been dated back to have been on the earth for the past 315 million years, though not all species are extant in modern times. All reptiles are ectotherm, which means they are “cold-blooded” animals (whereas most mammals are warm-blooded). All reptiles are also tetrapods, which mean they have four limbs (or they have descended from four-limbed ancestors). In general most reptiles are oviparous (egg-laying), with the exception of some viper and constrictor snakes that give live birth. In regards to size, reptiles can be anywhere from a tiny 0.6 inch gecko all the way up to a 20 foot crocodile…show more content…
Tuataras are generally twenty-four inches in length and two pounds in weight; there is no range in size in this domain since only two species exists. Tuataras are mainly sit- and-wait predators and mainly eat invertebrates. 75% of their diet consists of large, flightless insects. Reproduction takes two to five years to be commenced and completed, which is the slowest for all reptiles. Tuatara can continue growing for up to the first thirty-five years of their life. The Tuatara has been on the endangered species list for the past one-hundred years (Wikipedia, Sphenodontia). Squamata is the largest and most recent order of reptiles, including the species lizards, snakes, and worm lizards. The order is about one-hundred and sixty million years old and has approiemently 7,900 species in this domain. Species in this order are distinguished by their scales, which have a horny shape. Also species in this domain have a movable quadrate bone, making it possible for them to move their upper jaw. This is very observable in snakes; especially the anaconda which can eat an animal five to six times its size, such as deer and hippopotamuses. Besides the larger snakes in the Squamata order all other eat small to medium sized invertebrates. Out of all the orders the Squamata order has the most variance in size-range. On the small side the Jaragua Sphaero is 0.63 inches in length and is one of the world’s two smallest know
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