For an explanation, see the main splats page
- Reptiles make a natural group, because they all have scales and similar internal anatomy. They vary in their methods of reproduction, and are divided by this.
- Lizards mostly have legs, though some have lost them. Snakes have no legs, but evolved from reptiles with legs, as can be seen in the fossil record.
- Snakes are a natural part of the environment, and play a part in maintaining normal natural balances. They should be preserved, like all the other parts.
- Most people who are bitten by a snake are bitten while trying to catch or kill a snake that could just as easily have been left alone. There is a lesson here.
- Tuatarans are primitive reptiles which only managed to survive in a few isolated parts of New Zealand, where they were able to avoid predators and competitors.
- Turtles and tortoises are reptiles that have shells. Turtles need to come ashore to lay their eggs, which leaves them and their young at risk from predators.
- Dinosaurs are one of the groups of extinct reptiles, and based on their skeletons, they may be further divided into lizard-hipped and bird-hipped forms.
- Extinct reptiles can be reconstructed from fossil evidence, but reconstructions are often coloured by people's assumptions about how the animals behaved.
- Dinosaurs lived for a long time, a long time ago, and probably died out (as dinosaurs) as a result of an asteroid strike that changed the climate.
- Dinosaurs are usually referred to as having died out, but there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the birds are just modern warm-blooded dinosaurs.
- There are some scientists who would happily treat the birds as part of the reptiles group, while others would include the monotremes as reptiles.
- There are many theories about how the dinosaurs died, and we will probably never know what really happened, but the asteroid theory looks good.
- There were other ancient reptiles around at the time of the dinosaurs that were not dinosaurs, and some of them survive today, like crocodilians and tuatarans.
- The first people to make the ancient reptiles well known were Caspar Wistar, Mary Anning and Gideon Mantell. Richard Owen also helped.
- Even now, we only have a very partial picture of the dinosaurs, because the fossil record is far from complete, but every year, new founds are made.
This file is http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/scifun/, first created on February 18, 2009. Last recorded revision (well I get lazy and forget sometimes!) was on February 18, 2009.
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