Lava lizard basking on the head of a marine iguana


The reptiles are a class of vertebrates. Charateristically they are cold-blooded, have dry scaly or horny skin and a four-chambered heart. Most reptiles lay eggs with leathery shells, but a few types bear live young. Because they are cold-blooded, reptiles are more common in the tropics than in temperate regions and are not found in polar areas.

How to identify UK reptiles.

Scientific name: Reptilia

Rank: Class

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Map showing the distribution of the Reptiles taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

Reptile size range

A graphic illustration comparing the size of reptiles with humans, from largest to smallest: Diplodocus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Ame

A comparison of reptile size in relation to humans - from the 28m long Diplodocus to the 1m long grass snake.


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Reptiles

BBC News about Reptiles

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