World Map: Best Reptile Habitat Countries
This World Map presents the Countries with the most number of Reptile species, or in other words – the countries that provide the best Reptile Habitat on the planet. Countries that are not colored or portrayed on this map did not make it to our prestigious list. Most of these countries are in the northern hemisphere.
No Reptile Habitat in the North?
Why don’t we see on the map any ‘good’ Reptile Habitat Countries in the Northern Hemisphere?
Well, Reptiles can be found on every continent in the world except for Antarctica. However, because reptiles depend on the external environment for regulating their body temperature, most species are found between the latitudes of 40 degrees N and 40 degrees S. That region of earth is the best reptile habitat. Over 3,000 reptile species are found in Central and South America, and over 2,000 species are found in Asia. Reptiles do not survive well in extremely cold climates. If we compare them to birds and mammals which can maintain a high and constant body temperature even in cold conditions, reptiles generate almost no body heat metabolically. They get their heat from their environment, like warm grounds or sunlight.
So how do Reptile regulate their body temperature? Well, they do all kinds of funny stuff, with the emphasis on “do”, and “funny”. Reptiles change their temperature by moving, running or jumping from place to place, putting parts of their body in the sun, touching hot grounds, and some just open their mouths (Crocodiles). In very cool temperatures, reptiles become very sluggish.
So how do Reptiles survive in cold habitats?
There are many places in the northern hemisphere, that if Reptiles stayed out in the open, they would freeze to death. For reptiles to survive in these places, they find creative ways to avoid exposing their bodies to the cold winter. Most of them go underground and hibernate, and some go underwater. There are turtles that dive to the bottom of lakes or ponds that do not freeze, while snakes and lizards use cavities and burrows to go underground and hibernate.
Enjoyed this resourceful map? We also created an interactive ‘North American Snakes’ map that provides detailed information on how many and which Snake species live in each and every State in the U.S. In this map you can just hover over the States to discover the number of snake species present in each region, and how many of them are venomous. Clicking on each state provides you the complete list of snake species in that state. Click here to try this map for yourself!
Source: Source: World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP-WCMC), 2004. Species Data (unpublished, September 2004).