Reptiles mainly live in the tropics and subtropics although they inhabit every continent except Antarctica. Reptiles are referred to as “cold-blooded” because they do not generate enough heat within their bodies to maintain a constant body temperature (one exception is the Leatherback Sea Turtle). They rely on gathering and losing heat from the environment to regulate their internal temperature.
Forty-seven species of reptiles have been identified at Gulf Islands National Seashore, including several state and federally listed species like the gopher tortoise and loggerhead sea turtle.
Did You Know?
Gulf Islands National Seashore's Fort Massachusetts, on West Ship Island 12 miles off the Mississippi coastline, was covered by the 30-foot storm surge from Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. The fort has been reopened to the public.