Changing Planet: Disappearing Lizards

It turns out that snakes are the most feared of any animal on Earth. Reptiles have had a consistently bad rap for a long time - from the serpent in the Garden of Eden to the basilisk of Lord Voldemort. Reptiles are seen as sinister, scaly, deceitful and more than a bit threatening.

But did you know that rattlesnakes, some of the most feared snakes of North America, bear live young and some actually stay with their young after birth to teach them life habits? That sounds more maternal than threatening! Rattlesnakes (and many other reptiles) are responsible for controlling the population of rodents and insects whose populations would otherwise grow uncontrollably. Snakes and lizards serve as a food source for birds, other reptiles, mammals and even some insects, thus supporting the natural ecosystem that is home to many plants and animals. Climate change is affecting reptiles - which are a vital link in our ecosystems!

Find out more about how rising temperatures are affecting the world's lizard populations using our Changing Planet: Disappearing Lizards lesson plan.  And use our newest PowerPoint presentation to review reptile basics (and clear up some possible misconceptions) in your classroom.

Enjoy these additional resources and remember, that it's not fair to judge a reptile by its "wrap" - scaly though it may be!

Click on the video above to watch the NBC Learn video - Changing Planet: Disappearing Lizards.

Last modified September 17, 2011 by Jennifer Bergman.

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