REPTILES

LATEST ARTICLES: WILDLIFE UNIT / EXOTIC PETS BETTER LEFT IN THE WILD

Inhabit every continent except for Antarctica
Reproduction are mostly through eggs
Skin is covered in scales
Type cold-blooded
Over 8000 species of reptiles belong to the following:
Crocodilia – crocodiles, caimans, alligators and gharials
Sphenodontia – tuatara
Squamata – snakes, amphisbaenids and lizards
Testudines – tortoises and turtles

Crocodilia
Alligators
Diets consist of fish, birds, frogs etc.
Sizes range from 4 – 5,5m with smaller females
Water tolerance for preferrably fresh water
Caimans
Diets consist of fish, birds, frogs etc.
Sizes are between 2 – 2,5m but the females are smaller
Water tolerance for both fresh and salt
Crocodiles
Diets consist of fish, birds, animals etc.
Mouths are modified with palatal flap at the back to restrict water entrance
Sizes vary between 1 – 5m and large species can weigh over 1000kg
Water tolerance preferably for fresh water
Ghrials
Diets consist of fish, birds, frogs etc.
Mouths house up to 29 upper teeth and up to 26 bottom teeth
Sizes vary between 1 – 5m
Water tolerance preferably for fresh water

Sphenodontia
Tuataras
Diets consist of insects, frogs, lizards and eggs
Ears are not external
Eyesight is aided by a parietal (or third) eye
Skins are brownish green and shed-able
Sizes are plus-minus 40 – 65cm from top to tail
Teeth come in a double upper row which overlap a single lower row

Squamata
Amphisbaenids
Bodies are without legs and pinkish in colour
Ears are not external
Eyes are covered in scales and skin
Scales are arranged circularly
Sizes are usually under 2cm
Teeth consist of one median tooth in the top jaw
Lizards
Bodies consist mostly of 4 limbs and a long tail
Diets are insectivorous
Ears are external
Eyesight is excellent
Sizes range from very small to over 2 meters
Smell through vomero-nasal mouth-palette organ
Snakes
Bodies are limb-less
Diets are carnivorous
Ears are not external
Eyes are without lids
Sizes range from 5meters to 10cm.
Skins are scaled and can be shed
Smell occurs through the forked tongue
Venom is modified spit execreted through the fangs

Testudines
Tortoises
Diets are herbivorous
Reproduction through eggs (1 – 30)
Shells are heavy and for protection.
Turtles
Diets are herbivorous or carnivorous, depending on the species.
Eating is done through jaws and
Glands near the eyes ‘cry’ excess salt from seawater, ridding the body from the salt.
Reproduction is through eggs laid on land.
Shells are developed from turtles’ ribs and the shells indicated hunting and habituating patterns. For example, flat shells make for easier hiding etc. Colours depend on the species. Smaller shell rings indicate the age as they produce in the same numbers annually.
Sizes can range from the largest Leatherback sea turtle weighing around 950kg with a 2m shell to freshwater turtles weighing up to 55kg and whose shells can be almost a meter.

South Africa REPTILE CLUBS, ORGANISATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS