Reptile | Advanced

Rethinking Reptile Lighting

In the early 1940s, our knowledge of the effects of light on reptiles and amphibians was very limited. It wasn’t until 1944 that we learned of the amazing ability of reptiles to maintain relatively stable body temperatures through thermoregulation. This was the result of a groundbreaking study by herpetologists Raymond Cowles and Charles Bogert, who coined the terms “ectotherm” and “endotherm.” Their landmark study inspired numerous research projects on the effects of light and heat on reptiles. Since then, our knowledge of reptile lighting has increased tremendously. We now know that many reptiles and amphibians can see things illuminated by ultraviolet-A, and that they can make vitamin D in their skin upon exposure to ultraviolet-B.

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