Cold-blooded but rarely clammy, reptiles are represented by such models as turtles, snakes, crocodilians, and lizards.  Unlike the heat-producing ability that we share with other mammals and birds, reptiles are called “ectotherms.”  This means they are forced to use external sources to warm up.  When watching a large iguana basking on a rock, it’s easy to see the dinosaur ancestry.  Alligators and crocodiles are nearly pristine replicas of their prehistoric lineage.  Although much more commonly encountered in the tropics and deserts, a handful of extremely well-adjusted reptile species can be found well into the arctic circle.  Thanks to their strange appearance and the potential of a select few venomous individuals, reptiles (snakes, in particular) tend to get an entirely undeserved bad rap.  They serve a brilliant role in the pest control department.  Lizards consume countless numbers of insects, and snakes eat a lot of rodents.  They are literally reducing the spread of disease!  Yes, a venomous snake could potentially hurt you, but they will do nearly anything to avoid conflict.  Less than 10 Americans die per year by means of snake bite, and most of them perish because of trying to handle or kill a snake.  Be aware of your surrounding, and respect their space!  Snakes will gladly reciprocate this courtesy.

Lizards

Cold-blooded but rarely clammy, reptiles are represented by such models as turtles, snakes, crocodilians, and lizards.  When watching a large iguana basking on a rock, it’s easy to see the dinosaur ancestry (despite the types of changes that result from millions of years of evolution).  Alligators and crocodiles, on the other hand, are nearly pristine…

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