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!