There are about 9475 species of reptiles on Earth. Many more are currently being described and added to the list.
The species are grouped into the following orders:
Crocodilia (crocodiles, gavials, caimans, and alligators): 23 species
Sphenodontia (tuataras from New Zealand): 2 species
Squamata (lizards, snakes, and worm lizards): approximately 9,150 species
Testudines (turtles, terrapins and tortoises): over 300 species
What is a Reptile?
A Reptile is a scaly animal that can be characterized by laying their eggs on land.
Reptiles come in a vast amount of shapes and sizes from tiny frogs to huge, primitive looking lizards. There are around 8,000 species of reptile living on the planet today. Reptiles are vertebrates which means they have a back bone. Reptiles have a tough scaly skin which is hard and dry, although some can appear slimy. Scales are made from keratin which is the same substance as human fingernails.
Reptiles are cold blooded creatures (ectothermic) and their body temperature is determined by their surroundings. Some reptiles bask in the sun during the day to increase their body temperature. When they are warm enough, they then actively seek food.