mybeardeddragons.co.uk

Discussion and Advice Forum for Bearded Dragon Lovers
It is currently Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:55 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:04 pm 
Offline
EGG
EGG
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:39 am
Posts: 10
Location: UK Herefordshire
I’ve been fascinated with reptiles since the dad of one of my schoolmates brought a selection from his menagerie into school and gave a talk to us kids about 35 years ago. As the new keeper of a Bearded Dragon I feel privileged to share my life with one of these incredible creatures:

As Bearded Dragon keepers we are sharing our homes with the most remarkable creatures that anyone can imagine.

For a start Bearded Dragons are of course Reptiles, and the earliest creature which we can currently say is unquestionably a reptile is a little fellow called Hylonomus – you can see this reptile on my avatar for this forum. This creature lived 312 Million years ago and yet anyone who is familiar with Bearded Dragons will find that Hylonomus looks strangely familiar! Just to put this in perspective, we humans evolved from archaic Homo Sapiens only 200 thousand years ago although primates (of which we as modern Homo Sapiens are one example) date back to the late Cretaceous period around 65 million years ago. For further perspective the first dinosaurs emerged in the Triassic period 231.4 million years ago.

All this means that reptiles pre date the dinosaurs by around 80.6 million years and that they have been around for nearly 5 times as long as primates and for 1560 times as long as we modern humans. In other words there was a creature roaming the earth this long ago which bore striking physical and practical resemblance to the bearded dragons which we know and love.

No wonder these remarkable creatures are so sophisticated – and it’s no exaggeration to call them sophisticated: We humans used to regard reptiles as somehow primitive because they are cold blooded and rely upon heat from the sun to stay warm. These days we are realising that “cold blooded” is a pretty poor term and we call them “Ectotherms” and we realise that they are at the very least no less sophisticated than we are. Ectotherms (such as are lizards) rely on the sun to provide their body temperature. Endotherms like us generate heat by internal bodily functions so we can stay warm when the sun goes down. But are we “more sophisticated”? Simple answer: No.
Reptiles (just like we mammals) are incredibly good at regulating their body temperature; the only practical difference between us is where we get that temperature from.

But what happens when the ambient temperature drops off and the food supply dries up? Well if you are a mammal like we humans then I’d suggest “putting your affairs in order” and writing your goodbye letters because there’s not a lot you can do. If you are a reptile, however – read on: First off you can divert your blood supply away from your outer layers and stop conducting core heat to the atmosphere. Next I’d suggest changing your colour – darker would seem a good idea because dark colours absorb heat better and you can optimise what ambient heat is available to you. Finally you should consider slowing your metabolism right down, after all you don’t need to waste any of the energy from the food you’ve been eating in order to keep warm – you can survive (depending on your species) for 6 months to a year without any more food if you need to. By that time I’m sure that things will have changed for the better in your environment and it will be time to wake up, have a good bask in the sun and go out for a nice meal.

Primitive species or sophisticated life form with millions of years development to its advantage? I personally vote for the latter and it is with a sense of awe and wonder that I share my house with a reptile!


Attachments:
File comment: Hylonomus - the earliest undisputed reptile lived 80 million years before the first dinosaur
Hylonomus_BW.jpg
Hylonomus_BW.jpg [ 19.58 KiB | Viewed 2232 times ]

_________________
newKeeper + petShop = (stressedBeardie)+(stressedKeeper)
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:21 pm 
Offline
EXPERT
EXPERT

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 7554
Location: Victoria Australia
Agree wholeheartedly - they are fascinating creatures and as you've already discovered we actually know very little about them compared to the warm and furry mammal!

Rick

_________________
Beardies from an Australian point of view.
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:18 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 8:04 pm
Posts: 6794
Location: Essex
Nice post! :D

_________________
Trish

Bearded Dragon: Fiona
R.I.P Shrek and Stumpy - you are sadly missed.

For articles and useful information about how to care for Bearded Dragons visit the main site: http://www.mybeardeddragons.co.uk


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:59 pm 
Offline
EGG
EGG
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:39 am
Posts: 10
Location: UK Herefordshire
Webmaster wrote:Nice post! :D


Aww - thank you. Who... *me* head over heels with reptiles? Are you sure??

;)

_________________
newKeeper + petShop = (stressedBeardie)+(stressedKeeper)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group