Cold Blooded?



Reptiles >> Cold Blood?

Reptiles are not cold blooded!

The only true cold blooded vertebrates are fish which live in unchanging cold waters. Reptiles are ectotherms which means they regulate their body temperature by primarily using external heat sources. For example warm sand, direct sun or shade.

The Kangaroo Island Tiger Snake can remain active at very low temperatures. They are often observed hunting and feeding during mid winter. When active in winter these snakes have body temperatures warmer than their surroundings. The dark colouration of the island snakes helps them to warm quickly. For efficiency, they expand their body which separates the scales and exposes a dark membrane full of blood vessels. The membrane is an efficient heat collector which warms the blood. Island Tiger Snakes have unusual physiological mechanism which allow them to maintain this heat and extend their activity levels.

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