Squamata – Snakes & lizards

Scaled reptiles, lizard and snakes, survived the Dinosaurs extinction  – but will they survive humans?

The largest order in Reptiles class includes snakes, lizards, and amphisbaenians (aka worm lizards). The common characteristics shared by the species in this order are their scales and jaws. They all have horny scales that they shed periodically – either as a whole skin or in patches. For burrowing or life underground, some have lost their legs.

Their jaws are specially jointed to give them immense mobility allowing them to open their mouths extremely widely. This is most apparent in snakes, where they swallow huge prey whole.

About 100 species of this order are viviparous (give birth to live young). The burrowing nature of amphisbaenians means we still know very little about them.