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Reptiles & Amphibians
Reptiles and amphibians are amongst the most successful animals on earth. Modern-day amphibians have their origins in creatures that crawled out of the swamps over 350 million years ago. In contrast the reptiles earliest known ancestor dates back to around 300 million years ago.
This long history means that there a spectacular range and diversity of these species that have evolved, over 8,000 species discovered in the world. These creatures are cold-blooded (ectothermic) which means they must depend on external sources, such as the sun, to maintain their body temperature. As they don't use energy to maintain body temperature, reptiles eat up to 50 times less food than warm-blooded animals such as birds.
Reptiles include snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tortoises and turtles. They are characterised by their dry, scaly skin that can retain water, allowing them to inhabit some of the driest places on earth.
Amphibians include frogs, toads, newts and salamanders. All British species of amphibians are aquatic for at least one stage of their life cycle.
At Secret World we have a fantastic reptile house where we house Tortoise, turtles and terrapins which can be viewed on one of our open days.