Tucked away in a roundabout building near the Giraffe Encounter is an interesting collection of reptiles that for some, are better viewed when separated by glass enclosures.
There are over 9,000 known reptile species alive today, and of those, snakes make up 3,400 species and over 5,000 are lizard species. Reptiles are cold-blooded or ectothermic, which means they cannot regulate body temperature on their own and the main reason why reptiles are different from mammals and birds. Because they rely on their environment to keep warm, you see them basking in the sun, and to avoid overheating, they seek shelter to avoid absorbing too much heat.
Reptiles are found on every continent, except Antarctica, and have existed for more than 300 million years.
FUN FACT: You can also see reptiles at Alligator Isle where the American alligator, the largest reptile in North America can be found, and also see other reptile species: snapping and red bellied-slider turtles.
CONSERVATION STATUS: Varies depending on the species.