Why do reptiles have scales?

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How many reptiles can you think of?  There are turtles, alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and lots of lizards! They all have a few things in common that make them different than other types of animals and one of those things is that they all have scales.   

Scales are hard and they are very strong.  They grow right out of reptiles’ skin and give them protection from other animals that might try to scratch or bite them.

A lot of times in stories and movies you will see knights wearing shiny, metal suits of armor. The armor is a bunch of stiff plates that keep the knight safe.  It’s just like the knights are wearing scales!

Scales can also help keep moisture in the bodies of reptiles, so they don’t get too dry. They need water just like people do.

Reptiles aren’t the only kind of animals with scales though. Fish, and even some birds and insects, have scales too!

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Scale Substitutes

    People have skin that is soft.  If we fall down, we can get scraped pretty easily.  What are some of the ways we protect ourselves since we don’t have scales?

    Think about rollerblading or riding a bike.  Is there any special gear that we might wear to keep us safe?  Kneepads are just one of the many types of protective gear that we have.  How do they act like scales?

    It’s always important to wear safety gear when playing a game or a sport that could be dangerous.  How should people protect themselves when they play baseball or football? How about when they go skiing or hiking?
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