Reptiles, like turtles, have no fur or hair. Their skin has scales.
Other characteristics of reptiles are:
- They are ectothermic vertebrates.
- They have three-chambered hearts (except for alligators and crocodiles, which have four-chambered hearts).
- They have claws on their toes (except those which do not have legs, such as legless lizards).
- They are the first animals, in evolution, to develop the amniotic egg. This allows reptiles to lay eggs on land.
Animals have different body coverings depending on what class they belong to:
- Mammals - fur or hair
- Birds - feathers
- Reptiles - dry scales
- Amphibians - moist, smooth skin
- Fish - wet, slimy scales
Tip! See Zoology 250 study guide at North Carolina State University.
Of interest, one in four children younger than age five who were infected with Salmonella got the disease from a pet reptile in a recent UK study.
The children with reptile-associated infections were significantly younger than other kids with Salmonella infections, more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to have invasive infections that affected the blood or brain. Find out more here.