What is a reptile?

Reptiles are a group of animals that include four different groups or classes:

Reptiles are known for the following traits:

  • Laying eggs (though some reptiles can give birth to their babies alive like mammals!)
  • Being ectothermic (or “cold blooded” meaning they need to use outside sources to keep their bodies warm or cool)
  • Having scales


While some reptiles are great swimmers and can hold their breath for over an hour, all reptiles need to breathe air. Reptiles are also vertebrates which mean that they have a spinal column.

Reptiles can be found all over the world and can range from very large (like the saltwater crocodile and komodo dragon) to very small (like many chameleons and geckos).

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