Today I have been looking into average temperatures of Australia in different areas and it got me thinking, where are the temperatures measured?
It turns out that temperatures are always taken in the shade and at a height of 1-2m from the ground.
So how different are the temperatures on the ground in the sun?
When looking in to this for keeping reptiles in captivity, it just gives you a rough idea of what they might need and you have to then fine tune the temperatures depending on their behaviour. Too hot and the reptiles will hide and to cold and they will spend all day basking.
Also many of the species of reptiles that are kept in captivity have a natural range that will overlap with another species, but that does not mean that these two species are kept the same. Behaviour can differ, you may have a snake that spends the hotter parts of the day hiding and comes out in the cool hours and a lizard that loves to bask in the highest temperatures but seeks the cover when the temperatures drop.
The behaviour of the reptile can also help maintain their body temperature longer, basking in the sun then hide under a log, coiled nice and tight. Some reptiles will be better at this than others. A large snake could maintain the temperature for a long time where a Chameleon on a branch would cool more quickly only being able to hide amongst leaves out of any breeze.
Thinking about all of this makes me think that there is still a lot to learn.