Part of the Lizards and Snakes: Alive! exhibition.

Success Story

Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina), Camouflaged among vines in the rainforest
© Michael & Patricia Fogden / Minden Pictures

In evolution, diversity equals success. And the diversity of lizards and snakes on Earth--nearly 8,000 species--tells us the squamates are doing something right! In the oceans and the deserts, underground and in the trees, in the rain forest and even in backyards, they're nearly everywhere.

You've been dazzled by the animals on display--their unique eyes and feet and shapes and lifestyles--but they're just the tip of the iceberg. And the scientists who study squamates, herpetologists, are discovering more species every year. Bottom line: What we know about squamates is amazing. More amazing still? How much is left to learn.