Reptiles

Reptiles are found worldwide on land, and in both fresh and salt water. Marine reptiles range from sea snakes to sea turtles, crocodiles and iguanas.

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Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs, but now they are threatened by fisheries. It's estimated that some 4,600 sea turtles are killed by fishing nets and hooks every...
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“It is strange to think of a sea turtle as an ecosystem,” says Amanda...
No iguana wants to be cooked alive on a hot rock and then served up as dinner...
Endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles now have nearly 42,000 square miles...

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Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) often emerge from their nests during the day, which is a rare (and dangerous) thing for sea turtle hatchlings! They are the most critically endangered sea turtle species in the...
One of the biggest threats to sea turtles, such as the loggerhead turtle (...
Every year, at the same place and time, thousands of female Kemp's ridley...

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There are seven species of sea turtles, which are marine reptiles that need to breathe air to survive. Six of the seven...
One of the biggest threats to sea turtles, such as the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta ) pictured here, is being accidentally caught and killed in fishing nets. Trapped in a net, the turtles are...
These baby olive ridleys ( Lepidochelys olivacea ) will eventually provide a home to crustaceans, mollusks, and other epibionts. That's according to a survey of epibionts living on mature, nesting...
Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) often emerge from their nests during the day, which is a rare (and dangerous) thing for sea turtle hatchlings! They are the most critically...
Kemp’s ridley turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) are one of the smallest sea turtles, weighing only 100 lbs (45 kg). Adults spend most of their time in shallow coastal areas in places with mud, sand, or...
Leatherback turtles ( Dermochelys coriacea ) are the largest sea turtles, growing as long as six and a half feet (2 m) and weighing some 2,000 pounds (900 kg). They’re unlike the other marine turtles...
On the Galapagos Islands, William Dampier wrote excitedly of the giant tortoises he encountered: “I do believe there is no place in the world that is so plentifully stored with these animals….” This...
The Kemp’s ridley is a “riddler” among sea turtles . Although the species was initially recognized in 1880, scientists didn't know where it nested until 80 years later, when a film documenting about...
“As an underwater nature photographer, I struggled for a new way to bring back visions of fish and fauna. Soon I discovered that taking water out of the picture, rendering it invisible while it is...
An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass . These medium-sized crocodiles are most commonly found in mangrove -lined estuaries and saltwater lagoons between the...
The Aldabra Atoll site in the Seychelles was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The site is comprised of a coral reef surrounding four large coral islands, which enclose a shallow lagoon...
A giant tortoise subspecies ( Geochelone nigra vicina ) lives on Isabela Island in the Galapagos. Cerro Azul, estimated to be about 350,000 years old, is one of six volcanoes on the island.
Sea turtles face many obstacles throughout their lives—net entanglement, light pollution, mistaking plastic for food—among the many that are caused by humans. Get a glimpse of what goes on behind-the...
Esther Horvath began documenting the efforts to protect Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles on the coasts of the United States three years ago. The work that goes into the recovery of this endangered species...
Like other sea snakes , the turtle-headed sea snake ( Emydocephalus annulatus ) has fangs and venom. But its venom is weak so, instead of defending with a bite, the species tends to react to danger...
Adult green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) spend most of their time grazing in seagrass meadows. It's estimated that before Columbus arrived in America in 1492, the number of green turtles supported...
I have been to this location many times, but no other photo has come out like this one composed with the sun behind a turtle’s head.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Pedro Carrillo. See more beautiful...
A spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodiles) patrols a salty pond at the Smithsonian Institution’s research station in Bocas del Toro, Panama. A bony ridge between its eyes gives it the appearance of...
Olive ridley turtles ( Lepidochelys olivacea ) are the smallest marine turtle, living in warm waters close to shore as adults. Female olive ridleys take part in mass nestings that can involve 150,000...
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