Cash, W. Ben Department of Biology, Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee.
Savage, Jay M. Department of Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
Last reviewed:April 2020
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- Defense mechanisms
- Venomous lizard species
- Courtship activity
- Defense mechanisms
- Venomous snakes
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The dominant order of living reptiles, composed of the lizards, snakes, and amphisbaenians. The order Squamata, whose members are known as squamates, is the largest and most diverse order of reptiles. Squamates first appeared in Jurassic times and today are found in all but the coldest regions on Earth. Various forms are adapted for arboreal, burrowing, or aquatic lives, but most squamates are fundamentally terrestrial. There are more than 10,000 extant species, including 6500 lizards (Fig. 1), 3700 snakes, and 190 amphisbaenians (worm lizards). See also: Jurassic; Reptilia
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