Do Reptiles Lay Eggs on Land?
Reptiles are a group of animals that includes turtles, snakes, lizards and crocodilians. They all share some common traits, including their egg-laying behavior. If you’re wondering whether or not reptiles lay eggs on land, the answer is yes — most of them do.
Turtles and Tortoises
Turtles and tortoises are reptiles that lay eggs on land. Most of them dig a small hole, usually in sand or soil, and lay several eggs before covering them up. The eggs require warmth to foster their development and hatch. In some species, female turtles may spend days to find and construct the right nesting sites.
Snakes are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs in the open. Females don’t tend to their eggs, so they need to find warm and secure places to deposit them, such as warm soil. The eggs are usually left to fend for themselves since snakes have no parental care after they lay the eggs.
Most lizards lay eggs on land, though some aquatic species may lay eggs in water. They tend to choose safe and well-hidden places, sometimes covering the eggs with soil, sand or leaf litter for protection. Temperature plays a crucial role in the eggs’ development, so lizards employ different forms of nest thermoregulation to keep their eggs at the right temperature.
Crocodilians such as crocodiles and alligators lay their eggs on land. Their nests are typically made up of vegetation and soil and can be located in either flat or elevated areas. The mother will care for the eggs until they’re ready to hatch and sometimes remain with the young afterward.
Other reptiles, such as skinks, lay small clutches of eggs in hidden and secure places, almost always on land. They lay as few as one or two eggs in some species, while geckos, for example, may lay up to ten or more eggs.
In conclusion, reptiles mostly lay eggs on land and require warm and secure places to do so. As a general rule, the mother does not provide parental care for the eggs or the young after hatching.