Read about reptiles, listen and learn some new words.
(Lasi par rāpuļiem, klausies un mācies jaunos vārdiņus!)
- Alligators and Crocodiles
Alligators and crocodiles are reptiles. This means they are cold-blooded and have to regulate their body temperature with their surroundings. Alligators do this by cooling off in the shade or the water and warming up in the sun. Alligators and crocodiles, like most reptiles, also lay eggs and their skin is covered with hard, dry scales. Sometimes alligators are called gators for short and sometimes crocodiles are called crocs for short.
An Alligator have a wide, broad nose while a crocodile usually have a narrow nose. Alligators are generally darker in colour as well. Alligators live near fresh water environments. There are only two kinds of alligators (the American Alligator and the Chinese Alligator) and only two countries in the world where alligators can be found: China and the United States. Alligators in the US are found in the southeast, mostly in Florida and Louisiana. Crocodiles are more widespread being found in the tropics in Asia, America, Africa, and Australia. There are crocodiles that live in saltwater as well as fresh water.Alligators and crocodiles can grow quite large. The largest recorded alligator is 5.5 m long while the largest crocodile is estimated to be close to 8.5 m long.
Alligators and crocs are carnivores meaning they eat meat. They kill and eat pretty much anything they can catch. This includes fish, deer, frogs, birds, and buffalo, just to name a few. Despite all their sharp teeth, they don't chew their food. They use their teeth to tear off chunks and swallow them whole.
alligator — [ˈæl.ɪ.ɡeɪ.tər] — aligators
crocodile — [ˈkrɒk.ə.daɪl] — krokodils
- Turtle and Tortoise
Turtles and tortoises are reptiles. Turtles and tortoises have a hard shell that protects them like a shield, this upper shell is called a ‘carapace’. They also have a lower shell called a ‘plastron’. Many turtle and tortoise species (not all) can hide their heads inside their shells when attacked by predators. They have existed for around 215 million years.
- Difference between turtle and tortoise
Sea turtles live almost permanently in water only coming to land to lay eggs, fresh water turtles will sometimes bask in the sun on land but spend the rest of their days in the water. Because of this reason turtles are shaped differently to the other two, their bodies are streamlined so they can glide through the water. This is one of interesting turtle facts for kids. They also have fins not legs, making them better swimmers. Unlike tortoises turtles don’t only eat vegetation, they can feed on small fish, jellyfish and insects.
Tortoise on the other hand live completely on land and are in fact very bad swimmers. Their bodies are not streamline at all and they have feet that often have long claws for digging. Tortoises can completely retract their heads into their shells where turtles cannot and terrapins fold theirs sideways. They also feed completely on vegetation like small ground shrubs, grasses and low growing plants in the nature.
turtle — [ˈtɜː.təl] — jūras bruņurupucis
tortoise — [ˈtɔː.təs] — bruņurupucis