What is a Reptile?
Reptiles are creatures that have scaley skin and usually lay eggs. They are cold-blooded which means that they need the sun to warm them up, and in the UK they usually need to hiberate in the winter when its cold. They inlcude animals like snakes, lizards, crocidiles and turtles. In the UK we only have 6 species of reptile which inlcude 3 different snake, 2 lizards, and the slow worm (which is a lizard not a snake!). Its best to avoid handling them, to avoid them getting stressed, plus Adders can cause harm if they are aggrevated. They are stunning to watch though! Find out more about each of our UK reptile species by clicking here. Scroll down to find some fun activities, as well as ways to help our reptile friends.
Are there any reptiles in the sea?
Sea turtles are the only marine reptiles to be found in UK waters, although they are not considered native species. It is really only the Leatherback turtle which comes to our waters during the summer months in search of its favourite food, jellyfish! Leatherbacks are unique amongst sea turtles in that they can happily cope with colder seas.
Like all sea turtles, leatherbacks hatch on tropical beaches before heading out to sea with no parental supervision - it is thought that only around 1 in 1000 hatchlings makes it to adulthood! Have a look at some more turtley awesome sea turtle facts below!
Its really hard to spot reptiles when out and about as they are very good at camouflaging, and normally hear us coming and slither away long before we see them! Have a look below at some activities to help you explore the rockin world of reptiles.
Camouflage Snakes Challenge: Cut out a snake shape and decide where you want to camouflage it. If outdoors make sure you glue things onto it that are the same as its surroundings - like leaves if it is in a bush, or soil if its going to lay onto the muddy ground. If doing it inside you will need to colour it with whatever background you choose to put it against. Once finished you can challange the family to find it!
Make a hibernaculum - Family Activity
If you are lucky to have a garden at home, and there are some grassy areas then try this. During the winter reptiles need to find somewhere warm and protected to live, whilst they take a long nap. If you can't do this maybe see if you can have a pile of logs and leaves in the corner of the garden instead!
Indoor things to make
Other ways to help reptiles
Make your own compost
Help turtles by reducing your plastic
Turtles have downward facing spines lining their throats, which ensures their jellyfish prey get caught and can't escape. Unfortunately though, the same can happen with plastic bags and even balloons - which look a lot like jellyfish, their favourite! Help save our sea turtles and see if you can reduce your plastic using our top tips activity sheet!
Thanks to South West Water for supporting the production of these online marine resources.
Thanks to Player's of the Peoples Postcode Lottery for supporting the production of these online resources
Join the Conversation
Everyday we are posting ideas for things to do on our Facebook page. If you've taken part in any of these activities, take a photo and get an adult to share it with us and help inspire others to get involved!