Reptiles

Rockin' Reptiles

Common lizards. Photo, Ben Lee

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.

Reptile ID Guide

Can you spot which ones are reptiles and which are amphibians?

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!

 

Large Marine Animal Guide

Reptile Activities

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

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!

hibernaculum

Click to expand

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

Make an adder mask

Make a Saltdough Creature

Make your own paperplate turtle

Other ways to help reptiles

Make your own compost

Help turtles by reducing your plastic

Balloons Blow!

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! 

SWW Logo

 

 

Thanks to South West Water for supporting the production of these online marine resources.

ppl

 

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!