Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Reptiles are said to be cold blooded because they have no internal mechanism for maintaining a constant temperature like birds and mammals. Many however can adjust their body temperatures by varying their behaviors. They bask in the morning sun to warm up, hideaway in the midday heat and then come out again in the evening.
The lizard like tuatara is the only living member of a lineage more ancient than the dinosaurs, but it has hardly changed since its relatives died out of over 200 million years ago. It lives only on a few off shore islands of New Zealand, having been exterminated elsewhere in the country by introduced predators.