What are the fun facts of frilled lizard?

Frilled lizard is a type of reptile found in Australia and New Guinea. Its name comes from the large frill around its neck, which usually stays folded against its body. It opens the neck frill when it feels threatened, during courtship or to eliminate excess heat.

It spends the majority of its time in the trees. Its diet consists mainly of insects and small vertebrates.

When faced with danger, it raises its hind legs, unfold the frill, open its yellow mouth and start to hiss. If it doesn’t work , it runs to the safety of a tree without looking back.

The Frilled Lizard is a diurnal lizard meaning that they are active during the day and are resting in the night-time.

The lizard is arboreal and spends most of its time on trunks and limbs of standing trees. Due to its excellent camouflage, it is usually observed only when it descends to the ground after a rainfall or to search for food.

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Is Tuatara a living fossil?

The tuatara reptile is known as a 'living fossil' or 'living dinosaur. Found in New Zealand only, the single species of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) is the sole-surviving member of its order Rhynchocephalia, which originated in the Triassic period around 250 million years ago. The word tuatara is a Maori word meaning "peaks on back". The tuatara's "third eye" on the top of its head has a retina, lens and nerve endings, yet it is not used for seeing. It is visible in young tuataras but becomes covered with scales in adult years. Tuataras can live up to a hundred years in the wild.

The tuatara family contains only two nearly-identical species, Sphenodon punctatus and the even rarer S. guntheri, which are confined to Brothers Island off New Zealand. As these are the only surviving species of the order Sphenodontia, it is difficult to track the animal’s evolutionary history. Researchers often combine knowledge from the fossil record with genetic information from living relatives to determine how rapidly DNA is mutating.

For instance, if two species are known to have split apart from a common ancestor at least 50 million years ago, researchers can sequence the same fragment of DNA from living animals in several branches of the family tree, compare the sequences, and calculate the rate at which the DNA has changed since the common ancestor. “People often use living relatives to calibrate rates of molecular evolution,” says Lambert. “If you don’t have those living relatives, that’s going to be hard.”

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What are egg-laying snakes are called?

Snakes that lay their eggs outside of their bodies are known as oviparous. Those that retain them are called ovoviviparous. Ovoviviparous snakes appear to give birth to live young, but they actually don't -- although there are those who do, known as viviparous snakes.

While ovoviviparous snakes lay eggs, just like their oviparous counterparts, the mother snake simply keeps those eggs within her body while they incubate. Usually ovoviviparous species, such as some garter snakes and pit vipers, live in cooler climates where it would be harder for the mother snake to properly brood the eggs to keep them warm enough to hatch. By keeping them inside, she can maintain them at a comfortable temperature. Unlike viviparous species, there is no transfer of fluids between mother and babies, because they each feed on the substances contained in their individual eggs. Babies emerge from the mother when they hatch from their eggs, giving them the appearance of "live" births.

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Which snake gives birth to its young ones instead of laying eggs?

Did you know that there are some snakes such as rattlesnakes, Russell’s vipers and boas that do not lay eggs? They give birth to baby snakes. In other words, the babies develop in their mother snake before emerging into this world. These snakes may be viviparous (no egg at any stage of development) or ovoviviparous (eggs hatched within the mother’s body). The baby snakes are independent from day one.

When baby snakes are born live, as is the case with viviparous and ovoviviparous species, they are completely on their own from day one! There is no parental protection in the snake world. The babies go off on their own shortly after birth, and must fend for themselves. That is why baby rattlesnakes are born "fully loaded" with fangs and venom.

Sea snakes are a mixed lot. They are members of Hydrophiinae, a subfamily of the Elapidae family that also includes the venomous cobras, adders and mambas. Most of the sea snake species give birth to live young, which means the babies are born alive in the water. But there is one genus, Laticauda, which is oviparous. The female members of this particular genus lay eggs on land, as opposed to giving live birth like the other sea snakes.

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What are reptiles?

Reptiles are air breathing vertebrates covered in special skin made up of scales, bony plates, or a combination of both.

They include crocodiles, snakes, lizards, turtles, and tor- toises. All regularly shed the outer layer of their skin. Their metabolism depends on the temperature of their environment.

Unlike birds and mammals, reptiles do not maintain a constant internal body temperature. Without fur or feathers for insulation, they cannot stay warm on a cold day, and without sweat glands or the ability to pant, they cannot cool off on a hot one. Instead, they move into the sun or into the shade as needed. During cooler parts of the year they become inactive. Because of their slow metabolism and heat-seeking behavior, reptiles are cold-blooded.

Reptile reproduction also depends on temperature. Only boas and pythons give birth to live young. The other species lay their eggs in a simple nest, and leave. The young hatch days to months later. The soil temperature is critical during this time: It determines how many hatchlings will be male or female. Young reptiles can glide, walk, and swim within hours of birth. Reptiles first appear in the fossil record 315 million years ago and were the dominant animals during the Mesozoic era, which lasted for 270 million years until the extinction of the dinosaurs.

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