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


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

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


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