Topics in BiologyMale Reproductive System: External and Internal Male Genitals Male accessory sex organs Food Chain, Food Web and Food Pyramid Skeleton and Type of Skeletal Materials Bones - Types of Bone Bones and Type of Bone part 2 Red Blood Cells and Hemoglobin Tropical Rainforest and Savanna with their characteristics Desert and Swamp Forest - Types of Desert, Characteristics of Deserts and Swamps Plant Nutrition and Photosynthesis - Autotrophic mode of Nutrition Amazing facts in Biology Protists - Examples and Characteristics of Protists Reptiles - Characteristics of Reptiles Homeostasis and Negative Feedback Mechanism Arteries, Layers of an Artery and Characteristics of Arterial Disorders Introduction to Biology - Basic Characteristics of Life
Academic Questions in Biology
The living cells that makes up cartilages are called _____.
Which of the following statement is incorrect with regards to chitin?
Which of the following is NOT a function of the human skeleton?
Organisms that manufacture their own food through the help of sunlight or chemicals are best referred to as _____.
Organisms that begins a food chain and also manufacture their food through photosynthesis are best referred to as _____.
_____ bones make up the skull.
Chemical digestion of carbohydrate (cooked starch) begins in the _____.
Reptiles are vertebrate (animals with backbone) that belong to the class reptilia. In Latin, "reptile" means creeping animals.
Reptiles are believed to have evolved from a certain vertebrate called reptiliomorph, more than 300 million years ago. They were initially aquatic animals (lived in water) and with time they became adapted to the terrestrial habitat (land).
Certain reptiles hibernates while others brumate.
During hibernation, an organism stays in a sleep-like state without food for a long period of time by surviving from its fat reserve.
Brumation on the other hand is similar to hibernation except that the animals are neither asleep nor live off their fat reserve, rather their metabolic processes become very reduced resulting in the sluggishness of such animals.
Below are some of the characteristics or features of reptiles.
An animal is said to be a vertebrate if it has a backbone or vertebral column.
Reptiles, Pisces (fishes), Amphibians (toads and frogs), Aves (birds) and Mammals are all vertebrates.
Image Credit: Pinterest
Photo of a Frilled Lizard's Skeleton
The backbone of reptiles begins from the lower end of their skull and runs throughout their body length. Present inside the backbone is the spinal cord which constitutes a part of the central nervous system.
Reptiles cannot physiologically regulate their body temperature. To explain this, let's briefly consider humans who have got a defined body temperature of 36.5oC.
This stability in the human temperature is made possible via a process termed homeostasis, regardless of where they may find themselves (whether in cold or warm conditions).
In the case of reptiles, the weather condition determines their body temperature. When it’s warm, their temperature increases and when cold, it decreases.
When the weather becomes too hot, they tend to move into shady places or water in order to lower it. We can therefore conclude that their body temperature is dependent on their environment.
Cold blooded animals are also referred to as Poikilotherms or Poikilothermic animals or Ectotherms or Ectothermic animals
Note: Although most enzymes work best at a specific temperature, that isn’t the case in reptiles. Their metabolic enzymes can work efficiently over a wide range of temperatures.
Unlike mammals whose bodies are covered in hair/fur or birds whose bodies are covered in feathers (and their legs scale), all reptiles have their bodies covered in scales or scutes. The scales/scutes protects them from the dangers of their external environment.
The chelonians (reptiles like turtles and tortoises) in addition to having scales and scutes also possesses a hard protective shell called carapases that gives an extra protection to their upper bodies.
Image Credit: Textures Photo of a Snake's Scale
Scales are generally composed of keratin and can either be tubular or ossified in appearance. In addition to providing protection and movement, they also prevent loss of water to the environment; and this is one reason why some reptiles (certain snakes for instance) are capable of surviving in deserts.
Image Credit: Pinterest
Photo of a Crocodile's Scute
The scutes are different from scales because they give more protection; and appear more like a dermal armor. They are found in tortoises, turtles and crocodiles.
Most reptiles are oviparous animals. This imply that they lay eggs which are covered in shells.
A few are ovoviviparous (that is, the eggs remain in the mother’s womb until they are ready to hatch) while others are viviparous, meaning that the young ones are born alive.
Some reptiles will incubate their eggs either by laying on them or by burying them below the earth until they hatch.
Finally, certain reptiles will look after their young ones but only for a short period of time.
Moulting, also called Ecdysis is a process whereby animals shed their skin. This process of moulting is apparent in insects and reptiles. They remove the uppermost layer of their skin each time it gets worn out.
Parasites on the skins of reptiles are removed through the process of moulting.
Lizard shed their skins in patches while crocodiles shed the individual scales.
Other characteristics of reptiles include:
1. They Respirate via their Lungs.
2. They have three chambered heart.
3. Most are tetrapods (have four legs). Snakes are exceptions.
4. Most are carnivores with the exception of turtles and tortoises which feed on plant.
5. They are not hermaphrodites; that is, the male and females are separate.
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Amazing facts in Biology
Male Seahorses actually give birth to their young ones, NOT the female
All babies are born with blue eyes
Research made at the University of Vienna suggested that yawning may play an essential role in cooling the brains
All voluntary and concious activity of right handed people are controlled from the left part or hemisphere of the brain
A snail can actually sleep for 3 years 😁
An adult human being is composed of about 60% water. In fact, a newly born baby is composed of about 80% of water. This will drop to 65% after a year and finally to about 60% as the child ages
Without saliva, food can never be enjoyed. Food becomes tasteless since saliva is needed to dissolve the chemicals present in food onto the tongue’s taste buds.
Saliva also contains an enzyme called salivary amylase or "ptyalin" which helps to digest cooked starch to maltose. Maltose is a double sugar or disaccharide. Please read on sugars here
NOTABLE POINTS IN Biology
During strenuous exercises like sprinting or 🏃 running, your body may actually work in the shortage of oxygen. During this time, your body owes oxygen (called oxygen debt) and it must be replenished or repayed after the exercise is stopped. This is why you breathe excess of oxygen after you stopped the exercise.
This is the concept of anaerobic respiration
A food Chain is a diagram that shows the relationship between plants and animals within a habitat on the basis of how they rely on each other for food.
Note: Habitat is a place where an organism live. It is of three types:
The term Biology originated from two Greek words. They are:
Biology can therefore be defined is the study of life
Anything that has life is generally considered as a living organism (or organism) 🌱🐐🐓. All living organisms must be able to carry the following activities:
The above listed points are often regarded as the basic characteristics of life. You can memorize them using the acronym (MR. NIGER DAC).
The gas used in the manufacture of food by plants is Carbon dioxide or Carbon(IV)oxide or CO2.
Plants manufacture food through a process called photosynthesis. Please read on photosynthesis here
Note: Plants are the only orgnisms that take away CO2 from the atmosphere
In the Biological organization of life, it is said that cells form tissues, tissues form organs and organs form systems. There are 12 systems in the human body; these are: