A list of 10 different reptiles might include: Loggerhead turtles, alligators, Komodo dragons, box turtles, black mambas, caimans, cobras, geckos, Monitor lizards and crocodiles. The study of reptiles is part of a branch of science called herpetology.
While the classification of reptiles covers a large group of animals, they all share some basic characteristics. All reptiles have scales, are vertebrates, use lungs to breathe and are cold-blooded. Reptiles also lay eggs when they reproduce. Many reptiles can live both on the land and in the water, while some live exclusively in one or the other environment. Most habitats around the world include reptiles of some kind, but they are most common in areas with tropical weather.
Reptiles are divided into subgroups. Four of the major subgroups are: Crocodilia, Squamata, Sphenodontia and Testudines. Within each subgroup, a number of species exists. The Squamata subgroup includes over 9,000 types of lizards and snakes. The Sphenodontia subgroup only has one species, the Tuatara, a lizard native to New Zealand. There are over 400 species of turtles and tortoises, and 25 species of crocodiles.
People interested in reptiles can earn a degree in herpetology, a branch of biology, and search for jobs at zoos, museums and in biological research. In some cases, herpetologists study the effects of environmental changes on reptiles and what that means for the future of the animals.