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Walkies! Giant iguana is out enjoying sunshine

Keith enjoying his walk Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium

Keith, the giant iguana, is making the most of the recent spell of hot weather by going for walks on Hastings beach. The exotic one-and-a-half-metre-long reptile was re-homed at Blue Reef Aquarium after its owner could no longer look after him.

Just like humans, iguanas need vitamin D to keep them fit and healthy. The walks not only allow Keith to enjoy a spot of sunbathing but also ensure his claws do not grow too long.

Drusillas' reptiles enjoy the summer sun

Keepers Jodie Dryden and Claudia Farley with red-footed tortoises at Drusillas Credit: Drusillas Park

Reptiles at Drusillas Park in East Sussex have been soaking up the summer sun.

Red-footed tortoises have been out and about in the zoo gardens accompanied by zoo keepers.

Bearded dragons from the zoo also spent time snoozing in the sun, as keepers moved them to their outdoor accommodation on warmer days.

Being outside not only gives the animals a different environment to explore, but it also provides a number of health benefits for them too.

The reptiles can ensure they get enough vitamin D3 so they can develop healthy bones and shells.

A sun-seeking bearded dragon with zoo manager, Sue Woodgate Credit: Drusillas Park

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Unique fossil found

The findings produced by researchers from museums and universities in Belgium and the UK, such as Southampton University, contradict previous theories that the reptiles were the last survivors from the Cretaceous period (the time span between 145 and 66 million years ago).

Research has shown that the ichthyosaurs appeared during the Triassic and Jurassic period and survived into the Cretaceous which suggests the end of the Jurassic extinction did not occur for the species.

The fact they survived the Jurassic period makes their fossil record unique from other marine reptile groups.