REPTILES

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REPTILES. In the Linnsean arrangement, the class of coldblooded vertebral animals which breathe by lungs (amphibia) consisted of two orders: reptilia (having four feet), as the tortoise, frog, lizard, &c, and serpentia (having no external organs of motion). In Cuvier's classification, the class of reptilia corresponds nearly to the amphibia of Linnaeus, and is divided into the four orders ofchelonia (tortoise, turtle), sauna (crocodile, lizard, chameleon), ophidia (serpents, boa, viper), batrachia (frog, salamander, proteus, siren). (See Animals.) Reptiles are distinguished from birds and quadrupeds by their cold blood and single heart (with only one ventricle), and from fish by their respiring through lungs. Their blood is never at a much higher temperature than that of the medium in which they live. No other animals are capable of enduring so great extremes of heat and cold as the reptiles, especially some particular species: frogs, for instance, have continued to live in the human stomach, and in lumps of ice. From the peculiar structure of their bodies, they are able to suspend their respiration for a considerable time, and are also en dowed with the faculty of enduring an abstinence that would prove fatal to warmblooded animals. Most of them can live in the air as well as in water. Many live indifferently in either element. Some pass a certain period of life, or certain seasons of the year, in one, and the rest in the other; and some, finally, are confined to the wrater, or to the land. They live chiefly in morasses, swamps and stagnant waters, damp, dark places, caves, and holes in the earth. As means of defence, nature has given to some of them great bodily strength, or sharp teeth, as to the crocodile ; to others a deadly poison, as to certain kinds of serpents; to others a hard covering, as to the tortoise; to many a disgusting smell, or an acrid humor, which they eject. Some of them have a remarkable power of reproduction, by which they renew parts of the body of which they have been deprived. Some can live for an incredibly long time without air, and ever without food, and some undergo transformations like insects. None of them chew their food, but they swallow it whole, and digest it at leisure. They are in general extremely tenacious of life, and will continue to move, and perform other animal functions, even after the severest injuries. Their colors and general appearance are, in most instances, disagreeable: some, however, are decorated with the most vivid coloring. Their voices are either harsh and grating, or they are entirely dumb. Most reptiles are oviparous. In some, particularly in the frogs, the eggs are not fecundated until after their expulsion from the female; hence they are merely provided with a thin membranous covering. The eggs of others, as the tortoise's, have a soft, tough skin, resembling parchment, while, in other genera, the eggs are furnished with a hard, calcareous shell. In those species which are viviparous, the eggs are regularly formed, but are hatched internally, as in vipers, &c. (See Organic Remains,) The following arrangement of the repMia is that given by the prince ofMusignano; and, although it presents points of objection, these are as few as in any other attempt of the kind; added to which it is the latest: CLASS. REPTILIA. FIRST SUBCLASS. PULMONEA. ORDER I. CHELONI1. FIRST FAMILY. TESTUDINIDiE.§ Testudinina.1. Testudo, L. Subgenera, 3.2. Terrapene, Bonap.3. Kinosternum, Bonap.4. Emys, Bonap. Subgenera, 2.5. Hydraspis, Bell.6. Chelonura, Flem.§§ Chelydina.7. Chelys, Burner.§§§ Trionicina.8. Trionix, Geoff. SECOND FAMILY. CHELONIDiE.§ Sphargidina.9. Sphargis, Merr.§§ Chelonina.10. Chelonia, Brong. ORDER II, SAURI. THIRD FAMILY. ICHTHYOSAURI.11. Teleosaurus, Geoffr.12. Steneosaurus, Geoffr.13. Ichthyosaurus, Koenig.14. Saurodon, Hays.15. Plesiosaurus, Conybeare.16. Geosaurus, Cuv.17. Megalosaurus, Buckland.