Reptiles

Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates that have scales layered over their skin. Common reptiles include lizards, snakes, alligators and crocodiles.

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Pit vipers also carry venom in twin glands behind their eyes, delivered through movable fangs that can be folded up against the roof of their mouth.

By Mark Mancini

These snakes are some of the best reptilian actors you'll ever meet, but don't let the act fool you.

By Mark Mancini

To some, the thought of snakes flying through the air is the scariest thought imaginable, but, as we'll explain, flying snakes don't actually fly, they "fall with style."

By Mark Mancini

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Despite their name, rat snakes don't eat just rodents. This huge family of snakes, which lives on every continent except Antarctica, also eats lizards and amphibians.

By Mark Mancini

One of the most venomous snakes alive, the black mamba warns off encroachment with a fearsome hiss and the ominous flaring of its two cobra-like neck flaps.

By Mark Mancini

There are more than 50 species of snakes that live in the seas. Some are super venomous and they can zip through the water with ease.

By Mark Mancini

The prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America and has a bite that, it's said, can snap a wooden broom handle in half.

By Mark Mancini

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A new species of green pit viper found in India has been named after the founder of Harry Potter's Slytherin house.

By Patty Rasmussen

They both have prehistoric looking shells and squatty legs, but how are they different?

By Jesslyn Shields

The green anaconda is the largest of the anaconda species, which makes it arguably the biggest snake in the world.

By Mark Mancini

From its small size to its docile nature and long life span, the spotted python fills the bill as a great family pet. Our writer should know, he's got one.

By Mark Mancini

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These modern rat snakes have an affinity for barns (and the rodents that live in them). But the myriad of colors makes them a reptile hobbyist's dream.

By Mark Mancini

These colorful snakes are found all over the world and are highly venomous, so the best strategy is to avoid them.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

Cottonmouth snakes are often called water moccasins and are one of only four venomous snakes found in North America.

By John Perritano

Though a copperhead will bite if disturbed, and it is venomous, its bite is rarely fatal.

By John Perritano

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Garter snakes are harmless, very common and beneficially feed on slugs, leeches, large insects and small rodents in North American gardens.

By John Perritano

Snakes and lizards share a common ancestor, and snakes still have the genetic coding for legs and feet. So where did those appendages go?

By Nathan Chandler

Eating wild turtles may sound like an easy catch for survival, but it's a bad idea for several reasons.

By Patrick J. Kiger

New fossil analysis illuminates the evolution of the modern American gator species, and why it may prefer freshwater sources — like your local golf course.

By Jesslyn Shields

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Why do turtles have shells is the kind of question a kid would ask. But the answer is surprisingly complicated.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Researchers have found three of these massive predators in South Florida. Could they join the ranks of Burmese pythons and other invasive species that call Florida home?

By Joe McCormick

We knew that wading birds like to use alligators as their guard dogs, but now researchers have figured out exactly how alligators benefit from the deal.

By Kate Kershner

At night in caves around the world, dangling snakes emerge from hiding ready to scarf up flying bats.

By Sarah Gleim

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When you handle deadly snakes for a living, caution is job one. When you handle snakes for God, it is not. Let's meet some folks in both worlds.

By Julia Layton

Just how deceitful a creature is the sharp-toothed, swimming crocodile? Any more so than the other animals inhabiting our waters? They do cry, but it has nothing to do with insincerity.

By Kate Kershner