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PHOTOGRAPHY: REPTILIA

REPTILES

The Reptilia is a disjunct group of pentadactyl tetrapod* vertebrates that are best diagnosed by what they do not possess. They do not possess slimy permiable skins so they are no Amphibians (also unlike amphibians, reptiles, birds and monotremes possess a cleidoic or amniotic egg, an egg with a protective shell containing an amniotic membrane which negates the requirement to return to water to reproduce).

They do not possess feathers and therefore are not Birds, nor fur which means they are not Mammals. All other pentadactyl tetrapod terrestrial vertebrates are lumped into the "Reptilia" even though they are not closely related. In fact Turtles and Tortoises are almost as far removed from other Reptiles as are the Mammal-like Reptiles which evolved into Modern Mammals, and Dinosaurs, Birds and Crocodilians are more closely related to each other, than Crocodilians are to Lizards and Snakes.

The Reptilia is what might be called a 'dustbin' taxa, a dumping ground for taxa whose relationships have not been fully determined, but for the purposes of these pages, the term Reptile will be used to include the Testudines (turtles and tortoises), Archosauria which contains the living Crocodylia (crocodiles and alligators), and Lepidosauria which contains the living Rhynchocephalia (beaked reptiles) and Squamata (scaled reptiles).

* pentadactyl = five fingered/toed; tetrapod = four-legged, the basic terrestrial vertebrate blue-print although many groups have evolved towards digit or limb reduction or loss, ie. snakes.

The Reptilia, as so diagnosed, contains 73 extant (living) families** ie. Testudines = 14 families; Crocodylia = 3 families; Rhynchocephalia = 1 family, and Squamata = 55 familes. The O'Shea photo library contains representatives from 13, 3, 1 and 43 families respectively, as indicated by the X in the third columns below.

** authorites differ greatly with regards to the higher taxonomy, within the Squamata especially, so this figure represents only one school of phylogenetic thought.

Click on the family name below to view which species are represented in the photo library.
It will be some time before all families are listed on this site.

TESTUDINES
SHELLED REPTILES

Chelydridae
Snapping Turtles
Carettochelyidae
Fly River Turtle
Chelidae
Australo-American
Side-necked Turtles
ALLIGATOR SNAPPING TURTLE Macrochelys temmincki
Black Bayou, Louisiana
FLY-RIVER TURTLE
Carettochelys insculpta

Southern New Guinea
MATA MATA
Chelus fimbriatus

Simone Creek, Rupununi River, Guyana
click on images to enlarge
TESTUDINES TURTLES & TORTOISES
CRYPTODIRA
Straight-necked Turtles
CHELYDRIDAE Snapping Turtles
X
CHELONIIDAE Sea Turtles
X
DERMOCHELYIDAE Leatherback SeaTurtle
X
DERMATEMYDIDAE Central American River Turtle
X
KINOSTERNIDAE Mud and Musk Turtles
X
EMYDIDAE American Pond, Wood & Box Turtles
X
PLATYSTERNIDAE Big-headed Turtle
GEOEMYDIDAE Asian-American Pond, Wood & Box Turtles
X
TESTUDINIDAE Tortoises
X
CARETTOCHELYIDAE Fly River Turtle
X
TRIONYCHIDAE Soft-shelled Turtles
X
PLEURODIRA
Side-necked Turtles
CHELIDAE Australo-American Side & Snake-necked Turtles
X
PELOMEDUSIDAE African Side-necked Turtles
X
PODOCNEMIDIDAE American River Turtles
X

ARCHOSAURIA
ANCIENT REPTILES

Alligatoridae
Alligators & Caiman
Crocodylidae
Crocodiles
Gavialidae
Gavials
AMERICAN ALLIGATOR
Alligator mississippiensis
Loxahatchee National Refuge, Florida
ESTUARINE CROCODILE
Crocodylus porosus
Moitaka, NCD, Papua New Guinea
GANGES GHARIAL
Gavialis gangeticus
Chisapani Gorge, Karnali River, Nepal
click on images to enlarge
CROCODYLIA CROCODILIANS
ALLIGATORIDAE Alligators & Caiman
X
CROCODYLIDAE Crocodiles
X
GAVIALIDAE Gharials
X

LEPIDOSAURIA
SCALED REPTILES

Sphenodontidae
Tuataras
TUATARA
Sphenodon punctatus
New Zealand
click on images to enlarge 
RHYNCHOCEPHALIA BEAKED REPTILES
SPHENODONTIDAE Tuataras
X

 

Iguanidae
Iguanas
Diplodactylidae
Southern Geckos
Gekkonidae
True Geckos
SAN ESTEBAN SPINY-TAILED IGUANA
Ctenosaura hemilopha conspicuosa
Isla San Esteban, Sea or Cortez, Sonora, Mexico
FRINGE-TOED VELVET GECKO Oedura filicipoda
Hunter River gorge, Kimberley, Western Australia
TOKAY GECKO
Gekko gecko gecko

Same, Ainaro, Timor-Leste
click on images to enlarge
SQUAMATA SCALED REPTILES  
Iguanas & Their Allies  
AGAMIDAE Agamas
X
CHAMAELEONIDAE Chameleons
X
IGUANIDAE Iguanas
X
Geckoes & Their Allies  
EUBLEPHARIDAE Eyelid Geckos
X
DIPLODACTYLIDAE Southwestern Geckos
X
CARPHODACTYLIDAE Australian Padless Geckos
X
PYGOPODIDAE Scaly-feet & Snake-lizards
X
SPHAERODACTYLIDAE American Geckos & Their Allies
X
PHYLLODACTYLIDAE Leaf-toed Geckos
X
GEKKONIDAE True Geckos
X
incertae sedis
   
DIBAMIDAE Blind Skinks  
Bipedidae
Ajolates
Cordylidae
Zonures & Their Allies
Varanidae
Monitor Lizards
FIVE-TOED AJOLATE
Bipes biporus
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
LARGE-SCALED GRASS LIZARD Chamaesaura macrolepis macrolepis Mkuze, KwaZulu Natal, S.Africa
KOMODO DRAGON
Varanus komodoensis
Rinca Is., Komodo Is., Indonesia
click on images to enlarge
Worm-lizards  
AMPHISBAENIDAE Worm-lizards
X
BIPEDIDAE Ajolates
X
BLANIDAE Meditterranean Worm-lizards
X
CADEIDAE Cuban Worm-lizards  
RHINEURIDAE Florida Worm-lizard  
TROGONOPHIIDAE Short-headed Worm-lizards
X
Skink-like Lizards  
SCINCIDAE True Skinks
X
CORDYLIDAE Girdled Lizards & Their Allies
X
GERRHOSAURIDAE Plated Lizards
X
XANTUSIDAE Night Lizards
X
LACERTIDAE Wall Lizards
X
GYMNOPTHALMIDAE Microteiids
X
TEIIDAE Macroteiids
X
Eel-like Lizards  
ANNIELLIDAE American Legless Lizards  
ANGUIDAE Alligator Lizards & Their Allies
X
XENOSAURIDAE Knob-tail Lizards  
HELODERMATIDAE Gila Monster & Beaded Lizard
X
VARANIDAE Monitor Lizards
X
Typhlopidae
Blindsnakes
Boidae
Boas
Pythonidae
Pythons
DE LALANDE'S BEAKED BLINDSNAKE
Rhinotyphlops lalandei
GeogapNature Reserve, Northern Cape, S.Africa
AMAZONIAN RAINBOW BOA Epicrates cenchria
Ilha Maraca, Roraima, Brazil
NORTHERN GREEN TREE PYTHON Morelia azureus
Riwo, Madang Prov., Papua New Guinea
click on images to enlarge
Worm-snakes  
LEPTOTYPHLOPIDAE Slender Blindsnakes
X
TYPHLOPIDAE Blindsnakes
X
GERRHOPIDAE Shield Blindsnakes  
XENOTYPHYLOPIDAE Malagasy Blindsnakes  
ANOMALEPIDIDAE Early Blindsnakes  
True Snakes  
ANOMOCHELIDAE Dwarf Pipesnakes  
CYLINDROPHIIDAE Asian Pipesnakes
X
UROPELTIDAE Shieldtail Snakes
X
ANILIIDAE American Pipesnakes
X
XENOPELTIDAE Sunbeam Snakes
X
LOXOCEMIDAE Meso-American Python
BOIDAE Boas
X
PYTHONIDAE Pythons
X
BOLYERIIDAE Round Island Boas  
TROPIDOPHIIDAE West Indian Dwarf Boas & Woodsnakes
X
UNGALIOPHIIDAE Central American Dwarf Boas
X
XENOPHIDIIDAE Spine-jawed Snakes  
Natricidae
Keelbacks
Elapidae
Cobras and Their Allies
Viperidae
Vipers
BARRED GRASS SNAKE
Natrix natrix helvetica
Stourport, Worcs., UK
HORNED SEASNAKE
Acalyptophis peroni
Hibernia Reef, Timor Sea,
Western Australia
EYELASH PALM-PITVIPER Bothriechis schlegelii
Parque Vivorana, Turrialba, Costa Rica
click on images to enlarge
Advanced Snakes  
ACROCHORDIDAE File or Wart Snakes
X
XENODERMATIDAE Odd-scaled Snakes  
PAREATIDAE Asian Slug-eaters  
HOMALOPSIDAE Mud & Mangrove Snakes
X
COLUBRIDAE Typical Snakes
X
NATRICIDAE Keelbacks
X
PSEUDOXENODONTIDAE Asian Bamboo Snakes  
DIPSADIDAE American Odd-toothed Snakes
X
LAMPROPHIIDAE Sandsnakes, Housesnakes & Stiletto snakes
X
ELAPIDAE Cobras & Their Allies
X
VIPERIDAE Vipers
X