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?
Because of the tropical-like conditions, the U. S. Army established the Cat Island War Dog Training Camp in south Mississippi during World War II. A variety of dog breeds were trained to guard, deliver messages, and attack the enemy. Cat Island is part of Gulf Islands National Seashore.