Reptiles

Why are reptiles important?

The earliest reptiles evolved about 300 million years ago.

Reptiles have successfully managed to live in every part of the world except Antarctica in both terrestrial and marine habitats. Some reptiles are extremely long living, for example, tortoises can live for over 100 years. Reptiles are an important part of the food chain and perform valuable ecosystem services such as the dispersal of seeds, pollination, control of pest species and are food for a wide variety of other animals. 

Today, reptiles are threatened by habitat loss, over-exploitation, and climate change. The introduction of alien species to islands is also a concern for the survival of native reptiles. If action is not taken soon to protect these important species a long line of evolutionary history will be lost.

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