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Ch. 31.1
What is a Reptile?
Land vertebrate
Well developed skull
Backbone and tail
2 limb girdles
4 limbs
• 2 exceptions:
– Snakes (limbless)
– Turtles (hard shells that are fused to vertebrate)
• Reptiles: dry, scaly skin, lungs, and lay
terrestrial eggs with several membranes
• Live their entire lives out of water
• Skin is dry and has thick, protective scales
– Scales can be smooth or rough
• Dry, waterproof skin helps with living in
dry environments.
– Not always good though. The skin is
frequently shed
• Reptiles are found widely through the Earth.
• Very diverse lifestyle and look
• Can’t live in very cold climates
Evolution of Reptiles
• Fossils of 1st reptiles from ~350 mya
• Earth’s climate became cooler and less
– Lakes and swamps dried up and reptiles
evolved to live in that dry area
Mammal-like Reptiles
• Displayed a mix of reptilian and
mammalian characteristics
• Dominated many land habitats
• Went extinct quickly (replaced by
DINOSAURS in the fossil record)
Enter the Dinosaurs
• Late Triassic and Jurassic time periods
– Very diverse and large number of reptiles
– 2 aquatic groups were in the seas
– Ancestors of turtles, crocodiles, lizards, and
– Dinosaurs were everywhere
Dinosaurs varied in size
Quadriped or biped
Herbivore or carnivore
Lived as ‘families’
Laid eggs
Two main groups
– ORNITHISCHIA – bird hipped
– SAURISCHIA – lizard hipped
Exit the Dinosaurs
• Mass extinction
– Natural disasters: volcanic eruptions, lava
flows, dropping of sea level, asteroid in the
Yucatan Peninsula
• Major forest fires and dust clouds
Form and Function in Reptiles
Well developed lungs
Double loop circulatory system
Water conserving excretory system
Strong limbs
Internal fertilization
Shelled, terrestrial eggs
Controllable body temperature
• Body Temperature Control: ectothermic –
rely on behavior to regulate temp.
• Feeding: wide range of food
• Respiration: spongy lungs provide more gas
• Circulation: efficient double loop
– Blood to and from the lungs; blood to and from
the rest of the body
• Heart has 2 atria and 1-2 ventricles
• Excretion: urine is produced in the kidneys,
urinary bladder stores urine and released in
the cloaca
• Response: complex eyes and can see color,
good sense of smell, mouth can ‘taste’
chemicals, can pick up vibrations/hear
• Movement: legged reptiles have stronger
limbs; rotated further under the body;
flippers for aquatic turtles
• Reproduction: internal fertilization;
oviparous (lay eggs that develop outside
mother’s body)
– Eggs have amnion, yolk sac, chorion, and
Groups of Reptiles
• Lizards and Snakes: SQUAMATA (scaly reptiles)
• Crocodilians: CROCODILIA (long and broad snout, squat
• Turtles and Toroises: TESTUDINES (shell built into the
skeleton; carapce [dorsal], platron [ventral]
• TUATARAS: SPHENODONTA (resemble lizards
Ecology of Reptiles
• Habitats are endangered
• Hunting