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Reptile Fun!

This weekend is the ever popular Reptile Expo at The Mid Hudson Civic Center…so, I thought I’d share some fun reptile facts with you!

  • There are about 250 species of turtle, 25 species of crocodile, 3,000 lizards and 5,500 varieties of snake.

 

  • Reptiles are among the longest-lived species on the planet. Large tortoises such as the Aldabra tortoise can live 150 years or more; alligators nearly 70 years; ball pythons, 40 years.

 

  • Reptiles are not slimy as is commonly supposed because they do not have sweat or sebaceous glands. Their skin is usually cool, dry and waterproof.

 

  • Most reptiles cannot chew their food, they can only tear it.

 

  • The longest snake is the reticulated python; the heaviest, the anaconda.

 

  • Snakes are able to swallow prey much larger than themselves because most snake species can dislocate their jaws.

 

  • Snakes are deaf because they lack a middle ear. Instead, they sense vibrations through the ground.

 

  • The scales of all snakes and lizards are made of keratin, the same substance that’s in the hair and fingernails of people.

 

  • Most of the world’s snakes are nonpoisonous. Only about 500 snake species are venomous; only 30 to 40 of those are considered dangerous to humans. In fact, more Americans die each year from bee and wasp stings than from snakebites.

 

  • Reptiles are found on every continent except Antarctica.

 

  • Here’s one of those interesting animal facts that leaves you scratching your head: A blindworm is neither blind nor a worm. It looks like a snake, but it is classified as a lizard because of its movable eyelids and its fragile tail.

 

  • Chameleons do not change their color to blend in with different backgrounds; the color change is due to temperature regulation and emotional changes.

 

  • The world’s fastest lizard is the spiny-tailed iguana, which can reach speeds of 21.7 m.p.h.

Good luck winning tickets, and enjoy the show!

Marianna Massey/Getty Images

 

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