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Essay on Reptiles Reptiles are vertebrate or backboned animals constituting the classReptilia and are characterized by a combination of features none of whichalone could separate all reptiles from all other animals The characteristics of reptiles are numerous therefore can not beexplained in great detail in this report In no special order thecharacteristics of reptiles are cold-bloodedness the presence of lungsdirect development without larval forms as in amphibians a dry skin withscales but not feathers or hair an amniote egg internal fertilization athree or four-chambered heart two aortic arches blood vessels carryingblood from the heart to the body unlike mammals and birds that only haveone a metanephric kidney twelve pairs of cranial nerves and skeletalfeatures such as limbs with usually five clawed fingers or toes at leasttwo spinal bones associated with the pelvis a single ball-and-socketconnection at the head-neck joint instead of two as in advanced amphibiansand mammals and an incomplete or complete partition along the roof of themouth separating the food and air passageways so that breathing cancontinue while food is being chewedThese and other traditional defining characteristics of reptiles have beensubjected to considerable modification in recent times The extinct flyingreptiles called pterosaurs or pterodactyls are now thought to have beenwarm-blooded and covered with hair Also the dinosaurs are also nowconsidered by many authorities to have been warm-blooded The earliestknown bird archaeopteryx is now regarded by many to have been a smalldinosaur despite its covering of feathers The extinct ancestors of themammals the therapsids or mammallike reptiles are also believed to havebeen warm-blooded and haired Proposals have been made to reclassify thepterosaurs dinosaurs and certain other groups out of the class Reptiliainto one or more classes of their own The class Reptilia is divided into 6 to 12 subclasses by differentauthorities This includes living and extinct species In addition a numberof these subclasses are completely extinct The subclasses contain about 24orders but only 4 of these are still represented by living animals
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