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|
Wildlife have unique and fascinating talents. Can you guess their extraordinary skills?Take the Quiz
Conservation success depends on many advocates—and contemporary artists want us all engaged.Read More
Discover six ways to tell the difference between these three species.Read More
Place your order today for the themed box that delivers everything you need to create family memories while discovering nature and wildlife.Learn More
The National Wildlife® Photo Contest celebrates the power of photography to advance conservation and connect people with wildlife and the outdoors.