- There are 10,000 species of reptiles worldwide, according to the Reptile Database.
- Before the dinosaurs went extinct, reptiles were the dominant species to walk the planet for over 270 million years.
- Here are 14 breathtaking images of reptiles in the wild.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Komodo dragons and vipers and alligators, oh my! Some reptiles may have a scary reputation, and it’s no wonder that these ancient creatures have captivated public imagination for decades – from “Crocodile Dundee” to “Anaconda.”
But there’s much more to reptiles than fangs and fury. These scaly beings rained supreme for over 270 million years until the extinction of the dinosaurs. Since then, this ancient class of creatures has evolved into all shapes and sizes, with over 10,000 known species to date.
From adorable tiny turtles to those that look like miniature dinosaurs, here are 14 breathtaking images of reptiles in the wild.
A Komodo dragon extending its tongue, which helps it smell prey from up to seven kilometers away.
A crocodile basking in the sunlight in Bangkok, Thailand.
A green anaconda coiled up on a branch in the Amazon River Basin. These deadly predators can weigh up to 250 kilograms.
A chameleon catching its prey in Madagascar. These little lizards can camouflage themselves to their surroundings, making them stealthy hunters.
Iguanas can grow to be over 6 feet long. But despite their length, they manage to blend in well with their surroundings, like this iguana hiding in the trees.
A Galapagos tortoise can live to be 80 to 120 years old.
Namibian rock agamas come in bright colours and enjoy hanging out in groups of 10 when they bask in the sun.
The frilled dragon, native to New Guinea and Australia, threatens predators by extending the flap of skin around its neck, or “frills.”
The thorny devil, native to Australia, is named after a god of human sacrifice in John Milton’s poem “Paradise Lost.”
The Mojave rattlesnake uses its rattle to alert predators to its presence. It can release about 130 different toxins during a bite.
The alligator snapping turtle can live up to 100 years.
A gharial at water’s edge in India. The world’s gharial population has decreased nearly 98% since the mid-1900s due to hunting for traditional medicine and changes to its environment.
Despite its devilish appearance, the Saharan horned viper venom is rarely fatal to humans.