What is the difference between reptiles and mammals?
Reptiles and mammals are among the classes of vertebrate animals. There are more than 8240 species of reptiles which include lizards, snakes, turtles.
There are about 5400 species of mammals on planet earth. They include whales, bears, and other primates.
The main difference between reptiles and mammals is that reptiles have scales on their bodies while mammals have hair on their body.
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Comparison Table (Reptiles vs Mammals)
|Epidermis||They are covered with scales.||They are covered with hair.|
|Heart||They have three-chambered hearts.||They have four-chambered hearts.|
|Diaphragm||They do not have a diaphragm.||They have a diaphragm for respiration.|
|Metabolic rate||They have a low metabolic rate.||They have a high metabolic rate.|
|Reproduction||They lay eggs and give little care to their young ones.||The young ones develop within the mother and are given birth to and breastfed by their mothers.|
|Growth||It continues throughout a lifetime.||It is limited to adulthood.|
|Teeth||They are continually replaced.||They only have two sets of teeth; the deciduous and the permanent teeth.|
|Ear||They have a single middle ear.||They have three middle ear bones.|
|Pelvic bones||Their pelvic bones are separated.||Their pelvic bones are fused.|
What Are Reptiles?
They are tetrapod animals that belong to the class Reptilia. They comprise turtles, snakes, crocodiles, amphibians, and lizards.
They are covered in a special skin made of scales. They regularly shed the out skin and their metabolism depends on the temperature of the environment.
As they do not have the ability to control their internal temperature, they move to the sun to busk when cold and move to the sheds when it is very hot.
Their reproduction depends on the temperature. Apart from boas and pythons which give birth to young ones, the rest lay eggs. The soil temperature determines whether the hatchlings will become male or females.
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What Are Mammals?
Mammals are vertebrate animals found in all parts of the world. Some live on land while others live in water. There are very many species of mammals on planet earth.
They use every possible form of locomotion. Terrestrial animals walk, run, jump, climb, hop and burrow. Aquatic ones dive, shuffle, and a few flies.
Some are carnivores, some are omnivores like the primates. Their skulls are used for identification and to get more information on the evolutionary process.
All mammals are hairy, and this makes them control their internal body temperatures. Due to this reason, they are active throughout the year.
They give birth to young ones. The young ones stay inside their mother’s womb and when they are given birth to, they depend on milk from their mothers.
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Main Differences between Reptiles and Mammals
- Reptiles have scales on their bodies while mammals have hair on their bodies.
- Reptiles lay eggs while mammals give birth to live young ones.
- Reptiles have a low metabolic rate while mammals have a high metabolic rate.
- Reptiles have three-chambered hearts while mammals have four-chambered hearts.
- The growth of reptiles continues throughout their lifetime while the growth of mammals is limited by adulthood.
- The teeth of reptiles are continually replaced throughout their lifetime while the teeth of mammals are only of two sets that are deciduous and permanent teeth.
- Reptiles have a single middle ear while mammals have three middle ear bones.
Similarities between Reptiles and Mammals
- They are both bilaterally symmetrical.
- They both have a sophisticated nervous system.
- They both have well-developed sense organs.
- They both have a complex internal skeleton.
- They both reproduce sexually.
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Reptiles and mammals are both vertebrates. They possess many similarities but they are different from each other in behavior and in their physical appearance.
Mammals have hair on their bodies while reptiles their bodies are covered with scales and this makes the mammals able to control their internal body temperature while the reptiles do not have the ability to control their internal body temperature.
The main feature that makes reptiles appear different from mammals is the epidermis.
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