Reptile Awareness Day: Top 10 reptilian facts

1. Reptiles come in four varieties: turtles and tortoises; crocodilia (including alligators); lizards and snakes; New Zealand tuatara.

2. Tuatara (a Maori word meaning ‘peaks on the back’) have been around since before dinosaurs.

3. In 2009, Henry the tuatara kept at a museum in Invercargill, New Zealand, became a father for the first time at the age of 111.

4. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association 3 per cent of UK homes now keep a pet reptile, up from 1.8 per cent three years ago.

5. No reptiles live in Antarctica. It is too cold.

6. Although only about two per cent of the world’s snakes are poisonous, Australia has more poisonous snakes than non-poisonous.

7. The word for ‘pertaining to tortoises’ is testudinate. A group of tortoises is a creep.

8. ExoticDirect, insurers of exotic pets, sold the UK public five per cent more reptile and tortoise insurance policies in the year to August 2017 compared with the previous year.

9. ExoticDirect’s recent payouts included £410 for a jaw abscess on a bearded dragon.

10. Every year on average in Australia, 2.5 people are attacked and 0.7 killed by crocodiles.