Sssurprising Reptile Eggs Facts For The Budding Herpetologist In You | Kidadl

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Sssurprising Reptile Eggs Facts For The Budding Herpetologist In You

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Many reptile egg fossils date back to the early Permian period, indicating that reptiles are ancient creatures.

To know that reptiles came about 310-320 million years ago makes our jaws drop to the floor! Over the course of evolution, reptiles started laying shelled eggs to protect the eggs from drying out.

The shelled egg is regarded as one of the most fascinating evolutionary adaptations in reptiles. This granted them the flexibility to lay eggs even in areas away from water and enjoy protection from predatory amphibians.

Do not presume that reptiles can only lay eggs! Although most reptile species hatch from eggs, some do give birth to their young. The animals that lay eggs are oviparous. 'Ovi' here denotes egg whereas 'parous' signifies giving birth. While some species, like fish, spawn small eggs that fertilize externally, reptiles do not. Some lizards and snakes lay eggs that fertilize within an eggshell inside the mothers. Baby reptiles grow teeth or a caruncle (snout-like) to help them break out of their firm eggshell.

After reading about reptile eggs, also read about the largest reptile and amphibians vs reptiles.

Where do reptiles carry their egg?

Reptiles' existence primarily revolves around temperatures as they are cold-blooded. It is a well-known fact that eggs require warmth to hatch and reptile eggs are no different.

All egg-laying reptiles have adapted tactics to lay their eggs in apt areas that provide the required temperature.

The embryo develops inside an amnion; therefore, they are called amniotic eggs. The amniotic egg-shell, membrane, and other structures protect and nourish the fetus. In addition, they also keep them moist and safe while it grows and develops, providing nutrients from the yolk. As the reptile eggs need to stay dry, they lay eggs on land and bury them. Reptile species are known for their abandonment of eggs, save for alligators and crocodiles.

Desert reptiles prevent their eggs from quickly exsiccating by laying eggs in deep, moist burrows shielded from the blazing sun. In contrast, tropical reptiles find fitting nesting points that provide constant temperature to their eggs. But one thing that goes for all reptiles is that they all lay eggs on land, even if they live in water.

Unlike in oviparous species, some eggs are incubated and hatched inside the mother; these reptiles are ovoviviparous. Among reptiles, snakes are usually ovoviviparous. The mother retains the egg rather than laying it in a nest. The baby snakes hatch inside the mother and remain there for a certain time to grow. Sadly, they do not receive nutrients from their mother even then. When mature, they are born alive, which gives them the advantage to fend for themselves.

How big are reptile eggs?

Not all reptiles' eggs have soft, leathery shells, but occasionally the minerals in the eggs can make the shell hard. Like many species, the reptile species differ in characterization among themselves.

A snake egg can range from 1-5 in (2.54-12.7 cm) in size. They usually lay eggs in humid areas so that they can absorb the water and swell. This gives them their softer consistency making them gooey to touch. The incubation period is between 55-60 days before the eggs hatch. Also, snakes lay their eggs in a variety of places, like soil or drained mulch. Depending on the species of snake, the number of eggs per clutch varies. If ball pythons lay between 1-11 eggs per clutch, corn snakes can lay up to 10-30 eggs.

On the other hand, lizards have scaly skin and leathery texture to absorb water and remain hydrated. Lizard eggs and snake eggs look about the same but with a hint of difference in their size. A lizard's egg is smaller than a snake's. They tend to lay their eggs in moist areas and are oblong. The incubation period is about 40-60 days before they hatch. Lizard lays its eggs in a spot that is as obscure as possible.

Turtle eggs are usually tiny and cute. The nesting site, a hole, is usually flask-shaped and big enough for the turtle to lay and bury its eggs. Turtles will lay a clutch of 110 eggs in a nest making about two to eight nests in a season. While flatback turtles lay the tiniest clutch, only up to 50 eggs per clutch, the Hawkbill species lays the most oversized clutch with 130-160 eggs per nest.

The astounding size of a crocodile is about 19.68 ft (6 m) long when fully grown, but the size of the egg is 3 in (7.62 cm) long and 2 in (5.08 cm) wide. The crocodile eggshell has microscopic openings or pores that allow the baby crocs to receive water and oxygen.

Most modern reptiles lay eggs that have a soft and leathery shell only with a few exceptions.

How To Handle A Reptile Egg If You Find One

What would you do if you found some reptile laid eggs? Not jump in joy, screaming and breaking the egg! Do not forget, these poor beings are very delicate before they hatch and become baby reptiles.

So keep in mind, if you dig up any eggs, then they are primarily reptilian. If you can place it back, then that must be your first option. Otherwise, try to place the egg in a warm moist place, a warm wet tissue paper, or a container set at a good home. Try not to panic or roughly handle the egg. An incubator is necessary to hatch the eggs, so contact the wildlife parks before we lose a good, small baby reptile to the world.

What season do reptiles lay their eggs in?

Reproductive activity is seasonal, occurring in concomitance with a significant weather change. Egg-laying corresponds with periods favorable for the development and emergence of hatchlings when there is abundant food, and the weather is the most suitable.

Snakes that inhabit humid environments mate soon after emerging from brumation (hibernation of cold-blooded animals) which is in early spring. This helps the babies to hatch and grow during the warm summer months. However, mating can occur year-round for snakes inhabiting tropical regions, and they lay eggs following that.

When it comes to lizards, the males begin to display breeding coloration in May, when the temperatures are rising. The breeding season ends around September, and the females start laying the first eggs in June–July when the monsoon arrives.

Among all reptiles, alligators are the best moms. The female alligator will take care of her eggs, incubate them to hatch, and feed the babies. They are revered for their maternal instincts. A month after June, when the female alligator detects her readiness to lay eggs, she constructs a nest made out of various plants, mud, and sticks.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for reptile eggs facts then why not take a look at if reptiles are cold-blooded, or if fish are reptiles?

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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