Where Do Reptiles Live
Where Do Reptiles Live?
Have you ever asked yourself Where do reptiles live? There are many characteristics of the environments most suitable for reptiles, although some environments differ depending upon the animal. There are, however, a few factors that all reptiles require of their environment, which we will discuss here.
Characteristics of Reptiles
In order to answer the question where do reptiles live, it’s important to first understand the characteristics of reptiles, which rule their environmental needs. The reptile class of animals actually consists of over six thousand different types of animals. As you can imagine, six thousand different types of animals are sure to be pretty different, which means that their environmental needs will vary a little as well. Reptilian physical characteristics have a great deal of influence in determining a suitable environment. Most reptiles have dry skin covered in scale-like plates, which is essentially a protective armor. It is also water-tight, which gives reptiles many more environmental options. Another important physical characteristic of reptiles is that they are cold-blooded. This means that they have a limited means of regulating their body temperature, which is why most reptiles live in warm areas. Most reptiles, except for turtles, are also carnivorous and must live in areas where plenty of food is available. Some reptiles you may recognize are snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, and crocodiles.
Source of Heat
A good heat source is an important environmental factor for a reptile because it cannot regulate its body temperature very well. This means that it must pull heat from sources in the environment, such as a sun-warmed rock or sand. Because of this, most reptiles live in warm climates. Very few live in cold areas and none will be found in extremely cold places.
Land or Water?
Many reptiles make use of both land and water. In fact, it is not uncommon to find reptiles in areas that contain both water and land, as they are not strictly land or water creatures. Turtles, for instance, spend a great deal of time on land, but most species like to stay in areas where a water source is nearby. The same goes for many types of lizards and snakes. Crocodiles and alligators probably spend more time in the water than they do on land, but they will spend time in both types of terrain.
A large portion of the reptile class has to have a certain level of humidity in their environment. Humidity is often found in areas with a lot of vegetation such as shrubs, trees, and marshy plains. Humid areas tend to feel warmer which allows for better temperature regulation, resulting in a higher level of activity and capability for the reptile. Not all reptiles require this element in a habit, though. Some rattlesnakes live in desert terrain in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona where there is plenty of heat and food to be found!
As with any other type of animal, reptiles will only be found in places where they can obtain food on a regular basis. Granted, many reptiles have slow digestive systems which allow them to live for long periods of time (sometimes even months) on one meal. Insects, mice, rabbits, birds, fish, eggs, and even other reptiles are just a few of the types of food that should be present in a reptile-friendly environment. The larger the reptile, the larger its prey will need to be in order to give it enough energy to survive. There are some reptiles that eat both meat and vegetation and a few that are strictly herbivores. Berries, fruit, and leaves are the foods of choice for herbivorous reptiles.
Shelter is an important aspect of any animal’s home environment. Some reptiles will create their nest by burrowing into the dirt or sand, such as snakes and some lizards, while others will use rocks, logs, and leaves. Crocodiles and alligators use the water as a way of remaining undetected from predators and sheltered from the elements.
So, where do reptiles live? Basically everywhere except for the polar ice areas and the tundra!