| A great
number of myths surround the biology of amphibians and reptiles. Both
the scientific and lay communities percieve that amphibians and reptiles
are somehow "lower" than other animals simply because they are ectothermic
("cold blooded"). What some people fail to realize is that although
these animals often depend on their immediate environment for temperature
regulation, they end up saving energy that can be allocated to other functions
such as reproduction.
Perhaps no other animal is the subject of as many myths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings as the snake. People attribute a wide variety of symbolic and emotional meanings to snakes. In some cultures snakes are associated with evil and sin, and in others they are symbols of healing or fertility. The magical or spiritual powers that different cultures assign to snakes are obviously unfounded; snakes are neither good nor bad in themselves.
A great variety of myths and misconceptions are attributed to snakes. The origin of some myths may be based on actual observations, however more often than not these myths stem from misunderstandings and even the imagination. An objective of this section is to dispel popular myths and misconceptions concerning amphibians and reptiles, the majority of which relate to snakes.