Reptiles are cold-blooded, usually egg-laying vertebrates (animals with backbones). Their skin is covered with scales or plates. Unlike mammal young, which are dependent upon their mothers for some time after birth, most reptiles are independent from day one.

There are more than 6,500 reptile species. Below is the list of reptiles on regular view at the Zoo or shown through Animals & You presentations.

Aldabra Tortoise

The Aldabra tortoise is among the longest living animals on earth with a lifespan of 150 years or more.

American Alligator

Early in the day, American alligators often bask on the shoreline to raise their body temperature.

Baja Ratsnake

The secretive and nocturnal ratsnake is nonvenomous and lives in the dry, rocky habitats of Baja California, Mexico.

California Desert Tortoise

California’s official state reptile is the largest reptile in the Southwestern states and native to the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. Surviving in habitat where summer temperatures can reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit or more requires special adaptations.

California Kingsnake

Why are these snakes kings? These non-venomous snakes eat their competition for lunch.

Desert Iguana

The desert iguana is one of the most common lizards in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.

Dwarf Caiman

The dwarf caiman is the smallest member of the alligator family. Hunting at night, these lizards drift along with only their eyes and nostrils above water, moving silently.

Fly River Turtle

This turtle’s lineage stretches back 70 million years to the Eocene period before dinosaurs became extinct.

Gaboon Viper

One of the world’s largest and heaviest vipers, the Gaboon viper also has the longest fangs of any venomous snake, often measuring two inches long or more and folding up against the roof of the snake’s mouth when not in use.

Gila Monster

The genus name Heloderma comes from Greek, meaning “studded skin,” and refers to these lizards’ bead-like scales that do not overlap.

Gopher Snake

This nonvenomous snake’s diet includes moles, rats, mice, and, of course, gophers.

Green Mamba

They are primarily solitary creatures and, luckily, they seldom come into contact with humans.

Green Tree Python

Green tree pythons live in the rainforests of Australia and New Guinea. This arboreal snake has many adaptations that make it a successful tree dweller.

Indian Gharial

The gharial is the only surviving member of a group of animals that arose in the Cretaceous period, about 144–65 million years ago.
komodo dragon

Komodo Dragon

The world’s largest lizard has a reputation for having a deadly bite.

Mangshan Pit Viper

The Chinese mountain range where this viper is found was given the name Mangshan due to its snake-like shape.

Mexican Beaded Lizard

This lizard shares many characteristics with its close relative, the more famous Gila monster.


Rattlesnakes are easily identified by their broad, triangular heads and the rattles at the ends of their tails. The rattles consist of hollow segments of keratin (the same substance as human hair and nails) that fit loosely together so that when the snake shakes its tail, they produce a distinctive sound.

Rosy Boa

Rosy boas are constrictor snakes that can be found in the rocky shrublands, deserts, and national parks of Southern California.

South American Bushmaster

The bite of the bushmaster is one of the deadliest snake bites in the world with a high mortality rate even with treatment.

Tomistoma (False Gharial)

This crocodilian from Southeast Asia has a long narrow snout with up to 84 interlocking teeth, an adaptation for catching fish.