-   What is Reptile
Species Number by Higher Taxa
Worldwide Diversity of Reptiles

What is reptile? The first things come to most people's mind may be snakes, giant lizards or crocodiles shown on TV programs.

Actually, there are many more reptiles in the world. Some species have funny faces, beautiful outlooks or colourful skins. Many of these species can be kept in house and become a friend of you, just like keeping dogs, cats and fishes.

What are the differences between keeping reptiles and other kinds of pets?
First of all, we have to understand that, reptiles are cold-blooded animals. Unlike cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, chinchillas or rabbits, reptiles cannot produce heat energy from eating or keep their bodies warm by fur. They have to use the external heat to help digest food and survive. Therefore, most reptiles have to find a suitable place in their habitat to enjoy the sunlight everyday. In addition, we should not have frequent direct contact with them because it will create a lot of problems such as refusing to eat or feeling under pressure. Even though reptiles are not as smart as cats and dogs which can recognize their masters, we can enjoy the beauty of natural creatures and experience the wonder of wild animals when keeping them.

How should I start keeping a reptile?
Enough space and facilities are the most important. Most reptiles need UVA and UVB to survive. Insufficient supply of UVA or UVB will lead to bone problems or, at worst, death. Since we cannot provide all necessary foods which are available at their natural habitat, calcium and vitamin supplements should be regularly added into their diets. Don't forget that enough space is imperative and different kinds of reptiles should not be kept together in the same cage. If reptiles are being kept in a crowd, they will have to face a lot of serious problems.

Which is the most popular choice of reptiles?
I think is the red ear slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). Some of you may have kept one in childhood. Actually, it is not an easy task to keep a red ear slider strong and healthy. Suitable environment and facilities are very important. Here is the figure showing you how to make it.

Species Numbers by Higher Taxa :

Reptiles Total
Worldwide Diversity of Reptiles

These numbers are simply derived from searching the database for the countries that make up a continent or area. Please note that the sum of all numbers is much larger than the number of species because many species occur in 2 or more adjacent areas (e.g. Central and South America).

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