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LET'S EXPLORE The animal kingdom

What are reptiles?

Newly hatched alligatorNewly hatched alligatorReptiles are cold-blooded animals with scaly skins. Land-living reptiles must bask in the sun to warm up before going in search of food. They usually lay eggs, although some snakes and lizards give birth to live young. Millions of years ago, reptiles dominated the Earth. Some modern kinds have hardly changed since the days of the dinosaurs. There are four main groups of reptile: lizards, snakes, crocodilians, and turtles and tortoises.

A collared lizard basking on a rockA collared lizard basking on a rock


Lizards are a large group of reptiles. They include iguanas, chameleons, geckos, skinks and monitors. Lizards have thick, scaly skins. Most have four legs and a tail, although a few kinds are legless. Their eyesight is usually very sharp. Lizards have long tongues that they flick in and out. They use them to sense their surroundings.

Frilled lizardFrilled lizard

Most sea turtles live at least to the age of 50. Some kinds of turtles can live for 80 years or more.

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