Field guide training: Reptiles – Part 3
Squamata is the largest order of reptiles, comprising lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians. In the following blog article you can learn more about them.
Scaled reptiles form the largest group among the reptile’s family. They can be divided in three subcategories:
- Amphisbaena (worm lizard)
- Saurian (lizard, gecko, chameleon)
- Serpent (snake)
The amphisbaenas can be recognized by their soft skin which is arranged in form of rings along the slender and legless body of the reptile. One special characteristic is that the skin can be moved independently from the rest of the body, which is an adaption to their digging behaviour. Their eye sight is limited, and the amphisbaenas usually use their sense of smell and touch for orientation.
The category of the saurian is equipped with limbs, but some species have only very little developed extremities which are almost not visible anymore. Their skin is smooth and covered with very fine scales. Especially skinks have adapted very well to their extreme habitats. The sand diver which can be found in the Sahara is a small skink species, which is has such a smooth skin that it can swim through the sand as it does not cause any friction. A very impressive natural spectacle!