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Transcript of Reptiles
Red Eared Slider
The Plumed Basilisk
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata
What are their defining characteristics?
This group is composed of crocadilians, snakes, tuartara, turtles and lizards.
Tetrapods (4 legged) except for snakes
Have epidermal scales covering the skin
Reptiles have lungs and never gills
some are able to use pharyngeal breathing in order to allow themselves to stay underwater for extended periods of time
3 chambered heart except crocodiles
many can excrete a foul or pleasantly scented musk to allow for protection or the attraction of a mate
They have waterproof skin and are ectothermic, meaning that they depend mainly on the environment around them to regulate their body temperature (most abundant in the tropics)
usually alternate between basking and seeking shelter to achieve a good body temoerature
Reptiles lay eggs with protective shells, but in some cases, females hold onto the carry the embryos until they are developed
They are usually buried in loose soil or sand and sometimes in rotting vegetation
Scientific Name: Draco volans
Scientific Name: Chamaeleo chamaeleon
Scientific Name: Ophiophagus hannah
Scientific Name: Crocodylus niloticus
Scientific Name: Basiliscus plumifrons
Role as Predator
Role as Prey
The plumed basilisk lizard is hunted by predators such as opossums, snakes and birds of prey.
The plumed basilisk lizard can be found in the tropical rainforests of Central America. They live primarily in trees but are always near to a body of water. The basilisk uses the water to escape from predators. When they feel threatened, they run across the water and away from the predator. They can run up to about 20 feet and then they are able to swim to the opposite shore, or stay under water for up to half an hour, if they are still in danger.
The plumed basilisk is an omnivore. It eats plants, insects, rodents, flowers, fruits, and smaller lizards.
The plumed basilisk reaches sexual maturity at 16-18 months
They usually mate between September and February
After mating, the female carries the eggs for about 50 days
The female lays approximately 20 eggs and buries them in moist soil
Many will not survive due to predators
When they first hatch, they are only 4cm long and weigh 2g
They are born knowing how to eat, climb, and run on water
The plumed basilisk can live for about 13 years
At the end of their lives they are about 80cm (2 feet) long, and weigh 200g
The Importance of Reptiles
Reptiles are a play a very important part in the food web of many ecosystems.
Keep insect levels under control
Help to pollinate plants if herbivorous
Consume rodents and insects
Hunted as for flesh
Are relied upon by many species as a food source
Can also be top predators in ecosystems, like the crocodile (keystone species)
The Hawksbill Turtle
The hawksbill turtle is a critically endangered species. They mainly feed on sponges, sea anemones, shrimp and jellyfish.
They are important to the
maintenance of coral reef health,
and in some countries have
high tourism value.
Currently, there is an
excessive amount of illegal
trade of hawksbills, even
though there are many laws
preventing it. The shells in
particular are very popular for
making jewelry and other products.
“Like other marine turtles, hawksbills are threatened by the loss of nesting and feeding habitats, excessive egg collection, fishery-related mortality, pollution, and coastal development. However, they are most threatened by wildlife trade.” -World Wildlife Fund
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