Order Saurischia Characterized

Reptiles order

Crocodilia — Crocodiles, Alligators, Gharials & Caimans

The crocodilia order of reptiles includes crocodiles, gharials, caimans and alligators. The range of this species includes North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Currently, there are 23 known species within this order of reptiles.

Species within the Crocodylia order of reptiles include:

Alligators: American Alligator | Chinese Alligator


  • Broud-Snouted Caiman
  • Yacare Caiman
  • Black Caiman
  • Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman
  • Smooth-Fronted Caiman


  • Nile Crocodile
  • Cuban Crocodile
  • Australian Saltwater Crocodile
  • Australian Freshwater Crocodile
  • Slender-Snouted Crocodile
  • Orinoco Crocodile
  • Philippine Crocodile
  • Morelet's Crocodile
  • New Guinea Crocodile
  • Mugger Crocodile
  • Siamese Crocodile
  • Dwarf Crocodile
  • False Gharial


Squamata — Lizards & Snakes

This reptile order includes lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenids / "worm-lizards". Due to the incredibly large variety of reptile species within this order (nearly 8, 000), we will only feature the more common and popular species.

Lizards - Squamata order / Lacertilia suborder

Arguably, lizards are the most incredibly diverse creatures of the reptile world. Having developed a wide range of specialized skills (from their prehensile tails to their food-catching tongues), modern lizards are a marvel to behold.

Popular lizard groups within the Squamata order:

  • Iguanidae (Iguanas) - Includes many subspecies: anoles, collared lizards, etc.
  • Gekkonidae (Geckoes)
  • Pygopodidae (Legless lizards)
  • Dibamidae (Blind lizards)
  • Cordylidae (Spinytail lizards)
  • Scinidae (Skins)
  • Anguidae (Alligator lizards)
  • Helodermatidae (Gila monsters)
  • Varanidae (Monitor lizards)
  • Amphisbaenidae (Worm lizards)

Snakes - Squamata Order / Serpentes Suborder

Few animals inspire such mixed emotion as snakes. It seems people either love them or hate them. We feel that many who hate snakes simply don't understand them. Here's our attempt to change all of that.

Popular snake groups within the Squamata order include:

  • Hydrophidae (sea snakes; venomous)

Testudines - Turtles & Tortoises

This reptile order includes turtles and tortoises. At the time of this writing, there were approximately 300 known species within this order of reptiles. We have listed the most popular and common species below, and we will continue to expand this list over time.

Popular turtles and tortoises within the Testudines order include:


  • Alligator Snapping Turtle
  • Australian Snake-Necked Turtle
  • Australian Snapping Turtle
  • Box Turtles
  • Green Sea Turtle
  • Hawksbill Sea Turtle
  • Helmeted Turtle
  • Leatherback Turtle
  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle
  • Malayan Snail-Eating Turtle
  • Mud Turtle
  • Painted Terrapins
  • Pignose Turtle
  • Pond Slider
  • Pond Turtles
  • River Terrapins
  • Snapping Turtle
  • Softshell Turtles
  • Stinkpot Turtle
  • Western Swamp Turtle


  • African Spurred Tortoise
  • Aldabra Giant Tortoise
  • Asian Brown Tortoise
  • Berlandier's Tortoise
  • Big-headed Tortoise
  • Bolson Tortoise
  • Burmese Star Tortoise
  • Cape Tortoises
  • Chaco Tortoise
  • Desert Tortoise
  • Elongated Tortoise
  • Galapagos Tortoise
  • Gopher Tortoise
  • Hinge-back Tortoises
  • Impressed Tortoise
  • Indian Start Tortoise
  • Leopard Tortoise
  • Malagasy Giant Tortoise
  • Radiated Tortoise
  • Red-footed Tortoise
  • Seychelles Saddle-backed Tortoise
  • South African Star Tortoises
  • South American Yellow-footed Tortoise
  • Spider Tortoises

The Challenges of Reptile Classification

Reptiles can be quite challenging to classify. There are two main reasons for this — scientific disagreement and scientific advancement. Actually, these two things are closely related, as they pertain to reptile classification and species names.

As our knowledge of the natural world evolves and becomes more sophisticated, it affects the way we look at taxonomy and classification of species. For example, we used to classify snakes into a handful of families. Now there are 18 recognized families of snakes on the planet.

But it's important to understand that it's not the reptiles that have changed (not in our lifetimes, anyway) but merely the way we look at them. Case in point — you can call the Bothrops asper a fer-de-lance, a lancehead, a Central American lancehead, or a terciopelo ... but it's still the same snake.

With all of that being said, you can rest assured that we will keep this website (and the way it defines reptile classification in general) as current as possible, even if that means I have to reorganize web pages once a year.

Source: www.reptileknowledge.com
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