Reptiles are a class of vertebrates made up mostly of snakes, turtles, lizards, and crocodilians. These animals are most easily recognized by their dry, scaly skin. Almost all reptiles are cold-blooded, and most lay eggs—though some, like the boa constrictor, give birth to live young. Instead of possessing gills like fish or amphibians, reptiles have lungs for breathing.
The United States is home to a diverse range of reptiles. Today these animals face threats including habitat destruction, pollution, and overexploitation. Species such as the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and the Puerto Rican boa are currently categorized as endangered under the U.S. endangered species list.
Limbless reptiles with long, tapered bodies
|Black Rat Snake||Louisiana Pine Snake|
|Northern Water Snake||Puerto Rican Boa|
Lizards and Crocodilians
Long-bodied reptiles with limbs and tapered tails
|American Alligator||Eastern Fence Lizard|
Terrestrial and aquatic reptiles with carapaces (top shells) and plastrons (bottom shells)
|Alligator Snapping Turtle||Eastern Box Turtle|
|Green Sea Turtle||Hawksbill Sea Turtle|
|Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle||Leatherback Sea Turtle|
|Loggerhead Sea Turtle||Olive Ridley Sea Turtle|
|Sea Turtles||Spiny Softshell Turtle|
Take the Clean Earth Challenge and help make the planet a happier, healthier place.Learn More
Promoting more-inclusive outdoor experiences for allRead More
A groundbreaking bipartisan bill aims to address the looming wildlife crisis before it's too late, while creating sorely needed jobs.Read More
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.