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Built for the Hunt

Crocodilians slide silently through the water. Ears, eyes, and nostrils barely break the surface but underwater, the long, muscular tail propels them towards unsuspecting prey. Their powerful jaws snap up meals in a flash.

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An alligator's eyes are high on its head, enabling it to see above water while most of its body stays submerged.

Skin—and Bones

Caiman skin Bony plates, called osteoderms, lie under the hardened skin scales of a crocodilian's head and back. Like armor, this tough hide protects adults from most predators.

Lacking osteoderms, the belly skin is soft and supple—a quality that people desire in leather goods. Unfortunately, illegal over-harvesting is a continuing threat to most crocodilians.

Caiman: Saved by Its Skin

Tropical American crocodilians are threatened by illegal hunting, except for some caimans. Why? Instead of soft belly skin, these caimans have protective bony armor underneath, making their hard hide undesirable to people and commercially worthless. more about the dwarf caiman

caiman

African pancake tortoise
African pancake tortoise
Malacochersus tornieri
Aldabra tortoise
Aldabra tortoise
Geochelone gigantea
Alligator snapping turtle
Alligator snapping turtle
Macroclemys temminckii
Australian snake-necked turtle
Australian snake-necked turtle
Chelodina longicollis
Black ratsnake
Black ratsnake
Elaphe obsoleta (obsoleta)
Boa constrictor
Boa constrictor
Boa constrictor
Brazilian rainbow boa
Brazilian rainbow boa
Epicrates cenchria (cenchria)
Burmese python
Burmese python
Python molurus (bivittatus)
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Agkistrodon piscivorus
Cuban crocodile
Cuban crocodile
Crocodylus rhombifer
Eastern box turtle
Eastern box turtle
Terrapene carolina
Emerald tree boa
Emerald tree boa
Corallus caninus
Emperor newt
Emperor newt
Tylototriton shanjing
European glass lizard
European glass lizard
Ophisaurus apodus
Everglades ratsnake
Everglades ratsnake
Elaphe obsoleta rossalleni
Eyelash palm pitviper
Eyelash palm pitviper
Bothriechis schlegelii
Florida softshell turtle
Florida softshell turtle
Apalone ferox
Gaboon viper
Gaboon viper
Bitis gabonica
Gharial (Gavial)
Gharial (Gavial)
Gavialus gangeticus
Gila monster
Gila monster
Heloderma suspectum
Grand Cayman iguana
Grand Cayman iguana
Cyclura lewisi
Greater siren
Greater siren
Siren lacertina
Green anaconda
Green anaconda
Eunectes murinus
Green iguana
Green iguana
Iguana iguana
Green tree python
Green tree python
Morelia viridis
Inland bearded dragon
Inland bearded dragon
Pogona vitticeps
King cobra
King cobra
Ophiophagus hannah
Leopard gecko
Leopard gecko
Eublepharis macularius
Mangrove snake
Mangrove snake
Boiga dendrophila
Matamata turtle
Matamata turtle
Chelus fimbriatus
Northern blue-tongued skink
Northern blue-tongued skink
Tiliqua scincoides
Northern pine snake
Northern pine snake
Pituophis melanoleucus
Oriental fire-bellied toad
Oriental fire-bellied toad
Bombina orientalis
Red-tailed ratsnake
Red-tailed ratsnake
Gonyosoma oxycephala
Timber rattlesnake
Timber rattlesnake
Crotalus horridus
Tokay gecko
Tokay gecko
Gekko gecko
Veiled chameleon
Veiled chameleon
Chamaeleo calyptratus
White's tree frog
White's tree frog
Pelodryas caerulea
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Snake Habitat
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Lizard Defense
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Snake Skin
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Reptile Diet
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Crocodilian
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Reptile Moves
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Gharial Conservation
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Zoo Breeding
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Crocodile Conservation
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Reptile Vision
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Boas
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Iguana Conservation
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Constriction
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Reptile Conservation
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Venom
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Turtle Conservation
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Amphibian Conservation
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Aldabra Tortoise
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Water Quality
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Quiz

 

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