Reptiles

Reptiles are cold-blooded, usually egg-laying vertebrates (animals with backbones). Their skin is covered with scales or plates. Unlike mammal young, which are dependent upon their mothers for some time after birth, most reptiles are independent from day one.

There are more than 6,500 reptile species. Below is the list of reptiles on regular view at the Zoo or shown through Animals & You presentations.

Aldabra Tortoise
Aldabra Tortoise

The Aldabra is the second largest species of tortoise, being only slightly smaller than the tortoise found on the Galapagos Islands.

American Alligator
American Alligator

Alligators spend much of the day laying in the sun on the banks of rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water, often hiding in the vegetation.

Butaan (Gray's Monitor)
Butaan (Gray’s Monitor)

Until its rediscovery in the 1980s, the butaan was believed to be extinct.

California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake

Not only do they slither across the ground, but California kingsnakes are also excellent at climbing trees and swimming.

Desert Iguana
Desert Iguana

Like many lizards without prehensile tails, the desert iguana can drop their tail–meaning they can detach their tail and grow a new one.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise

The desert tortoise is a shy, land-dwelling reptile, native to the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. They can live up to one hundred years.

Dwarf Caiman
Dwarf Caiman

The dwarf caiman is the smallest member of the alligator family.

Fly River Turtle
Fly River Turtle

This turtle is also known as the pig-nosed turtle.

Gaboon Viper
Gaboon Viper

One of the world’s largest and heaviest vipers, the Gaboon viper also has the longest fangs of any venomous snake.

Gila Monster
Gila Monster

Gila monsters have remained essentially unchanged since dinosaurs roamed the world.

Gopher Snake
Gopher Snake

These non-venomous snakes are popular with farmers because they consume crop-damaging rodents.

Green Mamba
Green Mamba

Green mambas are primarily solitary creatures, and like the other three mambas species are arboreal.

Green Tree Python
Green Tree Python

The green tree python’s similarities to the emerald tree boa are an example of convergent evolution.

Indian Gharial
Indian Gharial

The gharial is the only surviving member of a group of animals that arose in the Cretaceous period, about 144–65 million years ago.

Komodo Dragon
Komodo Dragon

The world’s largest lizard has a reputation for having a deadly bite.

Madagascar Giant Day Gecko
Madagascar Giant Day Gecko

The intensity of the gecko’s colors varies by region, with some geckos appearing dull while others are dazzling and glittering in the tropical sun.

Mangshan Pit Viper
Mangshan Pit Viper

Discovered for the first time in October 1989 in the Mangshan Mountains of the Hunan province of China.

Matamata
Matamata

Matamatas will sometimes herd fish into more shallow waters where the matamata can easily seize them.The matamata’s snorkel-like nose allows it to lie in shallow water and reach the surface to respire without frightening its prey.

Mexican Beaded Lizard
Mexican Beaded Lizard

The Mexican beaded lizard, along with its relative the Gila monster, are the world’s only two dangerously venomous lizards.

Rattlesnake
Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes are easily identified by their broad, triangular heads and the rattles at the ends of their tails.

Rosy Boa
Rosy Boa

Rosy boas are excellent climbers, stretching their body from a fixed point, then drawing together before pushing out again.

Shingleback Skink
Shingleback Skink

This slow-moving skink looks like it’s traveling in both directions at once.

South American Bushmaster
South American Bushmaster

With a max length of about 12 feet, the bushmaster is the longest viper in the world and the largest of all venomous snakes in the western hemisphere.

Tomistoma
Tomistoma

This crocodilian from Southeast Asia has a long narrow snout with up to 84 interlocking teeth, an adaptation for catching fish.