THE WORLD OF REPTILES.
For an animal to be classed as a reptile it must have scales,
be cold blooded and obtain its oxygen from the air [air breathing].
All three requirements are necessary. For example a bird has scales [on
the legs] is air breathing but is warm blooded while a frog is cold
blooded and in the main air breathing has no scales and a fish is scaled
and cold blooded but obtains its oxygen from the water.
The term cold blooded refers to the fact that reptiles do not have the internal mechanism to regulate their body temperature to one that will allow their bodies to function effectively. Mammals and birds can do this but the cost is high, about two thirds of the energy produced from the food they eat is used to maintain a suitable body temperature. Reptiles must find a warm place for basking to raise their body heat and some cooler spot to move to from time to time to prevent overheating. This means they must spend some time lying in the open and exposed, especially the smaller ones, to possible predators. To protect themselves against this most reptiles are able to blend in with their surroundings and by keeping quite still can be hard to detect.
With the exception of some livebearing lizards and snakes reptiles lay eggs which are usually buried in warm sand, soil etc and left to hatch. The livebearers also produce eggs but they are retained within the body of the female and develop there allowing her to have some control of the hatching temperature by moving them around.
Reptiles living at the present time are classified in four orders, Crocodilia [crocodiles and alligators] Squamata [lizards and snakes] Chelonia [tortoises and turtles] and Rhynchocephalia [tuataras].
With the exception of snakes [forbidden by law in New Zealand] and sea turtles the Reptile Park has representatives from all four orders
|Family Scincidae - Skinks
Three Kings Is. skinkO. fallai
Northern brown skink O. moco
Shore skink O. smithii
Striped skink O. striatum
Otago skink O. otagense
Robust skink C. alani
|Family geckonidae - Geckos
Northland green gecko N. greyii
Green gecko N. elegans
Forest gecko H. granulatus
Goldstripe geckoH. chrysosireticus
Duvaucels gecko H. duvauceli
Nelson green gecko H. stellatus
|Family Scincidae- skinks
Blue-tongue skinkTiliqua scincoides
Cunninghams skinkEgernia cunninghamii
|Family Chamaeleonidae - chameleons
Jacksons chameleonChamaeleo jacksonii
|Family Geckonidae - geckos
House gecko Gecko monarchus
Leopard geckoEublepharis macularus
Day gecko Phelsuma madagascarensis
|Family Agamidae - dragons
Eastern bearded dragonPogona barbatus
Eastern water dragon Physignathus leseurii
Green iguana Iguana iguana