When most people hear the word reptile, they picture a deadly wild anaconda which is ready to devour them alive. Picturing a venomous snake is another way we view reptiles. The reality is far from that. The truth is that there are several misconceptions about this group of animals. It is the reason why they are the most marginalized and misunderstood creatures.
Even as pets, mammals rule our homes, but we think of reptiles as some robotic and dumb creatures that are not capable of learning or have intelligence.
Keeping that in mind, we have listed some of the common myths about reptiles that aren’t true. The researches show that these animals are capable of learning new things. If we just try to dig deep and understand them better, we will know that they can be perfect pets and companions for a good time. Let’s take a look at these of these myths.
Myth 1: Snakes are aggressive and deadly!
Truth: Absolutely not! Only less than a quarter of the percentage of the snakes is deadly and can cause can fatality, rest are harmless. One of the most common defense responses for the reptiles is to hide or creep away from the threat.
They might also be equally scared, and the defensive stance is often confused with them showing aggression. They might try to intimidate the threat, but aggressive stance often not there. Also, they don’t chase or run after people to specifically attack them.
Myth 2: Mammals and birds are more advanced
Truth: From the evolutionary point of view, birds and mammals are seen as more developed and advanced in comparison to reptiles. In reality, reptiles are as advanced at mammals and birds. Some traits are assumed advanced, for instance, the ability to regulate temperature or warm-bloodedness. Reptiles are as advanced as any other creature on this planet.
Moreover, the process of evolution is not linear many species can branch within the same time span. Reptiles possess more versatile hearts and tail in comparison to mammals or birds. If reptiles were not as advanced or evolved, they would not have survived and reached the current point in the evolution.
Myth 3: Reptiles are slow and sedentary
Truth: They are very fast-paced creatures when needed. The common perception of them sitting lazily and basking in the sun is just not real. This trait is often wrongly associated with the cold-bloodedness. They have to eat, hunt and prey. All of these activities require high energy levels and complex set of movements (except for turtles, they are slow because they carry their home with them).
Their activity levels are influenced by harsh weather condition, but that is same for mammals as well. In extreme heat or cold, they might get slow, but in temperate or the tropical region they are very active.
Myth 4: Turtles and tortoise can’t feel their shells
Truth: No! The protective shell is hard, but they can feel it. They are not detached from the shell, it might be their home, but it is also part of them. It has a proper connection with the body and has nerves associated with sensations.
Thus, everything you do, where it is just touching or knocking, the animals feels it. That is the reason why drilling holes on the shell or cutting through it is extremely painful for them, and it is generally not well tolerated. Hence, quit thinking hard means no sensation or feeling.
Myth 5: Reptiles bite
Truth: Reptiles have teeth, they can bite, but they choose not to. Contrary to the common notion that reptiles most definitely bite is just not true. The most common display or response against a threat is fleeing. If that is not possible, then they gape or charge or make them appear bigger in size.
One exception for biting is when there is a total invasion of their personal space. If the threat is to close, then they might take the hard decision to bite. It is their way to tell anyone that their space is being invaded and the invader should back off.
Myth 6: Reptiles are very low maintenance as pets
Truth: Reptiles might seem docile, but they need complex nutrition and environment to thrive properly. They are exotic animals, and require special care and attending. The perception that you can leave them alone, and they are perfect pets for busy people or kids is wrong and harmful.
If we look at the environment of the wild, then it is understood they need a lot of activities and diverse surrounding to feel at home. Terrariums with no specialized care are not enough from
them to grow and thrive properly. With limited resources and non-availability of adequate nutrition and exotic environment, they are only surviving.
Myth 7: Chameleon switches colour according to the surroundings
Truth: chameleons change colour to communicate. It can be to tell the predator to get off their territory or tell about hunger, thirst, or illness or even them being pregnant. But no, it is not according to the surrounds. The camouflaging ability is to scare away or hide from the prey.
There is only one species of chameleon known as a dwarf chameleon that takes up the colour of the surround. Their skin pigmentation changes with the surrounding, and they use the ability to blend in with the environment. Other than that, it is not surrounding dependent.
Myth 8: cold-blooded means the same temperature as the environment
Truth: In reality, only some of the reptiles have limited mechanisms to regulate the temperature and are thus, thermo-conformer (maintain the same temperature as surrounding). On the other hand, most reptiles are thermo-regulators and can maintain their body temperature every well.
They possess fully developed mechanisms to keep in the body heat and flushing blood to their core. They can also dilate vessels or constrict them. In other words, most of these creatures are fully capable of maintaining their temperature, and cold-bloodedness has nothing to do with it.
The myths regarding reptiles have busted and now you have all the more chances to love these fellows a lil more.