Reptiles

 

There are four main groups of reptiles: turtles and tortoises; lizards and snakes; crocodiles and alligators; and the tuatara. Many reptiles spend most of their time on land, but some spend a great deal of time in the water. Reptile species can be found in all types of habitat except polar ice and tundra.

All reptiles:

Are vertebrates (which means they have a backbone or spine)
Are ectothermic. Also known as “cold-blooded,” ectothermic animals cannot regulate their own body heat, so they depend on warmth from sunlight to become warm and active. If they get too hot, they have to find shade or a burrow to help them cool down.
Are covered with scales
Have lungs for breathing

Here at the park we keep a small range of Reptiles, a selection of animals that have either been acquired or donated and are housed in our Reptile Room.

Reptiles are cold blooded, which means they cannot generate their own heat like we can – they must absorb heat from their surroundings or the sun before they can become active.

We do not keep any venomous snakes – all of our snakes kill by constriction, which means they squeeze the breath out of their prey to kill it prior to eating it.

As well as snakes we keep several different types of Lizard. Some are brightly coloured and others have unusual bodies – they eat both fruit and vegetables as well as insects. The Snakes eat mice and rats. Snakes swallow their food whole, and have specially adapted jaws to enable this. They have stretchy ligaments in their jaw, enabling them to swallow food many times the size of their own head!

We also keep several Tortoises at the Park, who live in a couple of different enclosures in the park, they hibernate in the Winter so as it turns colder they may be taken inside, please ask a member of staff if you don’t see them, and they will let you know if they have had to go in.