Small and shy—or big and fierce? Bright as a jewel—or hardly visible? Four legs? Two legs? No legs at all? When talking about lizards and snakes—the squamates—the answer is usually . . . Yes!
This ancient group, whose scientific name is Latin for “scaled,” is more diverse than mammals, as old as dinosaurs. And they’re almost everywhere: harsh desert to lush rainforest, high in the treetops, and beneath the ground. Whatever the environment, one of the 8000 squamate species on Earth calls it home.
We share the planet, but we often overlook these quiet neighbors. So welcome to the world of squamates, and get ready to be surprised!