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Educator Resources: Reptiles & Amphibians

Part of Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians.

Discover Reptiles and Amphibians

Can you spot the difference between a reptile and an amphibian egg? Learn how with this kid-friendly guide to our hall of cold-blooded vertebrates and their habits, behavior, and adaptations.

 

 

Leapin' Lizards

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Introduce younger students to squamates and some of scaly lizards and snakes that are part of this group of animals. Then put their exhibit-designing skills to the test.




Scaly Surprises

Scaly Surprises (Science World)

Did you know that a snake's skin includes see-through scales that cover its eyes. Or that chameleons have sticky tongues to pull in their prey? Examine squamates and their remarkable adaptations.

 



Coloring Book

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How does a Veiled Chameleon's body resemble its environment? What colors are a Burmese Python's spots? Use what you know about squamates to bring these drawings to life.





Lizards & Snakes Glossary

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Adaptation (ad-ap-tay-shuhn)An evolutionary process through which species become better suited to its environment

Camouflage (ka-muh-flahj)Features, such as color pattern and morphology, that conceal an organism in its environment

Characteristic (kar-ik-te-ris-tik)A distinguishable feature of an organism

Chemoreception (kee-mo-re-sep-shun)The use of a sensory system to detect chemical cues in the environment

Crypsis (krip-sis)The concealment of an organism in its environment. Mimicry and camouflage are forms of cyrpsis.

Ecosystem (ee-koh-siss-tuhm)A system composed of organisms and their environment

Ectothermic (ek-to-thur-mic)Animals that control their body temperature by moving to warmer or cooler places in their environment. Ectothermic animals are less accurately referred to as "cold-blooded."

Extinct (ek-stingkt)Species with no living representatives. They are gone forever.

Fossil (foss-uhl)Remains or traces of an organism that have become mineralized, or turned to stone over time.

Habitat (hab-uh-tat)The place where an organism lives

Lizard (li-zerd)A common name for certain limbed or limbless squamates

Mimicry (mi-mik-cree)The close resemblance of an organism to another organism or object, giving it an advantage in its environment

Morphology (mor-fol-uh-jee)The physical structure of organisms

Predator (pred-ah-tur)An organism that hunts another for food

Prey (pray)An organism that is hunted by another animal for food

Snakes (snayk-s)One group of mostly limbless squamates

Species (spee-sheez)A particular kind of plant or animal. Members of a species can interbreed to produce fertile offspring.

Squamata (skwah-maht-a)A group of limbed and limbless lizards, including snakes

Venom (veh-nuhm)A variety of poisonous fluids that several groups organisms use when hunting or defending themselves

Vertebrate (ver-tuh-brit)Animals with backbones, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals