These are air-breathing vertebrates that are cold-blooded, and their skin is often covered with scales. There are more than 6,000 species that occur worldwide, except for the Polar Regions. Reptiles are divided into several major groups: turtles, crocodilians, squamates (lizards and snakes) and rhynchocephalians (tuatara).
Like amphibians, reptiles are very sensitive to small environmental changes, and act as an early warning system. They can be both predators and prey, on land and in the water and, like amphibians, feed upon the larvae of certain insects, some of which are known carriers of human pathogens. Like invertebrates, reptiles provide pollination services and certain species play an important role providing a cultural service.
Learn more about just a few of the reptiles we've discovered.
A beautiful gecko known only from a single specimen collected in dense rainforest at Tualapa in the Strickland River headwaters.