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Small and shy—or big and fierce? Bright as a jewel—or hardly visible? Four legs? Two legs? No legs at all? When you're talking about lizards and snakes—the squamates—the answer is usually.... Yes!

This ancient group, whose scientific name is Latin for "scaled," is more diverse than mammals, as old as dinosaurs. And they're almost everywhere: harsh desert to lush rainforest, high in the treetops, beneath the ground. Whatever the environment, one of the 8,000 squamate species on Earth calls it home. We share the planet, but we often overlook these quiet neighbors. So welcome to the world of squamates, and get ready to be surprised!

Lizards & Snakes: Alive! was organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, in collaboration with the  Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta and the San Diego Natural History Museum, with appreciation to Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland.

Lizards & Snakes: Alive! was made possible, in part, by a grant from The Dyson Foundation and the Amy and Larry Robbins Foundation.

Lizards and Snakes: Alive!

American Museum of Natural History

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