The Reptiles (Class Reptilia) include turtles, snakes, alligators, and lizards.
Though variation exists in reptiles, there are a few physical traits that unite them.
1) Most reptiles lay eggs (oviparous), though some can give birth to live young.
2) Unlike amphibians, their eggs are laid on land and have a leathery shell to protect them from drying out.
3) Reptiles are covered with tough, dry skin and protective scales or plates.
4) Reptiles are cold-blooded. This means that their body temperature is regulated by the temperature around them. If the air temperature is not warm enough they may seek out a direct sunlight to raise their body temperature. Because of this, they will spend the winter months in colder climates in torpor, buried in the mud or leaf litter. High temperatures are not good for reptiles either. In a very hot climate they may hibernate during the hottest time as well. This is called estivation.
5) Unlike mammals, reptile teeth are usually the same shape and size throughout their mouth.
6) Unlike mammals, reptiles can take care of themselves very soon after hatching. Some species of reptiles, like the American alligator will watch over newly hatched young for a time.
7) Some reptiles have a poisonous bite.
The study of reptiles is called herpetology.
The CLASS of reptilia is broken down into 4 ORDERS(living today).
1) Crocodilia (crocodiles, caimans, alligators, gharials)
2) Testudines (turtles, terrapins, sliders, tortoises)
3) Squamata is broken down into 2 suborders:
a. Lacertila or Sauria (lizards)
b. Serpentes (snakes)
4) Sphenodontia (tuataras)
To make black and white copies for your whole class, see the copy-friendly version below:
When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).
When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.
Amsel, Sheri. "Class - Reptiles (4th Grade and up)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2021. January 16, 2021
< http://www.exploringnature.org/db/view/619 >