These days you can’t turn on the television or browse the net without hearing about passionate often heated arguments either for or against the existence and causes of Global Warming. It is often a political argument running rampant with facts and opinions that may or may not be real or scientifically sound. What is real is that whether or not you believe it is happening and whether or not you think it is caused by human behavior the reality is that once we start seeing changes in the environment around us it may be too late to react. Let’s look at some of the realities that our scaly friends will have to face as they are affected by Climate Change.
Reptiles And Their Environments
Most people know that reptiles are cold blooded and need the help of their environment to be able to achieve thermoregulation as they digest their food, fight disease, grow and reproduce. They depend on their environment even for the incubation of their eggs and the availability of their prey items. It might seem logical that as the temperatures rise the reptiles of this planet will have a much easier time coping with and even possibly thriving in a warmer climate but there is more to it than that. Reptiles are carefully tied in to the intricate web of nature that could easily be disrupted. Increased temperatures affect rainfall and humidity making it too dry in some places so that the vegetation and fruit that some reptiles depend upon for food may disappear while too much humidity and rain in other places can reduce the number of ground dwelling rodents and birds that are an important part of many reptile diets.
The Effects Of Higher Temperatures On Reptile Reproduction
Reptiles are one of few organisms on earth that have a direct link to their immediate climate during incubation. The effects of higher temperatures at this time can affect the hatchling sex ratio of turtles, crocodilians, geckos and even some amphibians. Sex determination in snakes is determined at conception so temperature rise does not affect the sex ratio of hatchlings but kinking and aberrant patterns seem to be a side effect of such events. Many different reptiles are spurred into breeding cycles and mating behavior by the onset of weather related events such as monsoons and rainy seasons. This seems to be tied in to seedling and grass growth that will in turn bring about an abundance of rodents that then are used as food by the hatchling reptiles and their recovering mothers. A change in weather and precipitation levels will have long term results that we may not always be in tune to or aware of.
How Does Weather Effect Reptiles For Sale
People might argue that since most reptiles for sale are captive bred and produced under artificial conditions including temperature then this will have no negative effect on captive reptile production. Try to imagine a scenario where shipping practices will have to be adjusted to deal with hotter days and fewer days in the year when a reptile can be safely shipped across the country. There are also situations such as water use restrictions that will effect everything from the production of feeder rodents and insect to the maintenance of water dependent reptiles like turtles and crocodilians. It might be a folly for some to think that we need to worry about reptiles and climate change but it never hurts to think about how our actions will result in a different future for other creatures that we share this planet with.