Matamata Turtle

The Matamata Turtle (Chelus fimbriata) is a large, freshwater reptile. 

The Matamata Turtle has a brown or black upper shell, called a carapace, that looks like the bark of a tree. Its lower shell, called the plastron, is creamy-yellow or brown, narrow, and without a hinge. 

It has a large, triangular-shaped, flattened grey-brown head, with spiky, ridged scales called tubercles. It has flaps of loose skin. It has a horn-like structure on its head and a long, tubular snout (nose). There are three barbels (similar to thick whiskers) on its chin and another four barbels at its upper jaw. Its neck, tail, and legs are grey-brown. Its feet have five webbed claws to enable it to walk on land, dig and swim. 

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New Caledonian Giant Gecko

The New Caledonian Giant Gecko (Rhacodactylus leachianus) is a reptile in the Diplodactylidae family of gecko lizards. It is also known as Leach’s Giant Gecko.

The New Caledonian Giant Gecko has a thick body with loose skin and a small, stumpy tail. It can vary in colour, from green or grey to light or tan brown. It has bulging eyes. Its feet have pads which enable it to climb.

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Snapping Turtle

The Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentine) is a freshwater, aquatic reptile. It is also known as the Snapper or the Common Snapping Turtle. 

The Snapping Turtle has powerful beak-like jaws. It has a slightly domed, serrated-edged (saw-toothed) upper shell, called a carapace. The lower shell, called the plastron, is narrower than the upper shell. It has a long tail – as long as the upper shell – and a long, snake-like neck. It is mostly greyish-brown. It has stumpy legs with claws, and webbing between the claws, which enable it to walk on land and swim in water. It does not have flippers like the sea turtle. 

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Frilled-Necked Lizard

The Frilled-Necked Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) is a medium-sized reptile. It is also known as the Frilled Agama or the Frilled Dragon. It is an agamid (a dragon lizard). 

The Frilled-Necked Lizard has a large frilled collar around its neck. The frill stays mostly closed, but will open up when the lizard is startled, and also for courtship. It is mainly grey or brown with dark spots and blotches that are often red or orange. The colour depends on the lizard’s environment as a form of camouflage. 

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European Pond Turtle

The European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis) is a medium-sized freshwater wetland chelonian, and a reptile. It is also known as the European Pond Terrapin because it lives some of the time on land and some of the time in water. It has webbed toes to enable it to swim and walk on land.

The European Pond Turtle has a brown flattish shell, called a carapace, with a green tinge and radiating black lines. It has large brown eyes.

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RESEARCH: Why does the Giant Tortoise live for a century or more?

Why does the Giant Tortoise have a long life span? 

Why does the Giant Tortoise, particularly the Galapagos Island Giant Tortoise, a land tortoise, live for a century – a 100 years – or more? 

An individual Pinta Island Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii), called Lonesome George, died in 2012, at the age of 100 or more. Scientists used his body for research to determine why he lived so long.

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Common House Gecko

The Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is a non-venomous lizard. It is a reptile. It is also known as Pacific House Gecko, Asian House Gecko, House Lizard, and Moon Lizard.

The Common House Gecko is light to medium brown with a pinkish tinge. Its skin is covered with small nodules. Its feet have five toes with toe pads to help them stick to surfaces, even upside down. It has large orange-brown eyes. 

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Oscillated Skink

The Oscillated Skink (Chalcides ocellatus) is a lizard – and a reptile. It is also known as the Eyed Skink or the Gongilo.

The Oscillated Skink is elongated with a small head. Each foot has five toes. It is varied in colour, but it is usually light brown with dark-brown and white markings. It has a creamy-white underbelly. It has dark eyes and a dark-coloured tongue. It has very short legs, with five toes on each foot.

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Zygodactylous Feet – Chameleon Feet

The Chameleon has zygodactylous feet. Zygo means paired, joined, or fused, and dactyl means digit (finger or toe). Scientists would like a more appropriate word, because the chameleon does not have true zygodactylous feet, like the parrot.

It has five toes on each foot. The toes are grouped into two fascicles (a bundle of structures).

Two or three toes in each fascicle are fused together, which makes its feet look like tongs (the tongs people use in the kitchen to pick up food).

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Chameleon

The Chameleon (family Chamaeleonidae) is a lizard – and a reptile.

The Chameleon can be a variety of colours, and many can change colour to match its environment – this is called camouflage. It is usually green, brown, olive-green, or grey-brown. It is elongated, usually with a raised or slightly-domed back, and a tail that can curl around plants. It often has a crest of spines along its back, and a fleshy lump at the back of its head. It has zygodactylous (fused) feet for climbing trees. It has a long tongue, and independently mobile eyes with stereoscopic vision.

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Northern Caiman Lizard

The Northern Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) is a semi-aquatic freshwater reptile. It is also known as the Guyana Caiman Lizard. It is related to the Tegu.

The Northern Caiman Lizard has a heavy bright green body with short legs. It has dark bands on its body. Its head is large and usually red or orange. Its jaws are muscular and powerful. It has a long tail. It has a clear third eyelid, which is like a pair of goggles when it swims underwater.  It has five toes, and its fourth toe is longer than its other toes.

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False Water Cobra

The False Water Cobra (Hydrodynastes gigas) is a venomous colubrid snake. It is not related to the cobra, but it can flatten its neck to make it look larger, just as a cobra does. It does not rear up like a cobra. It is also known as the Brazilian Smooth Snake.

The False Water Cobra is olive-green or brown with dark spots and bands.  It has large eyes with circular pupils. Its colour becomes darker towards its tail. It has good vision. It has rear fangs. Its tongue is black.

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European Glass Lizard

The European Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus apodus) is a reptile. It is also called the Sheltopusik and the Giant Russian Legless Lizard.

The European Glass Lizard is legless – it has no legs, but it is not a snake. Actually, there are two knobs (2mm in length that are undeveloped legs. It has eyelids (and snakes do not have eyelids). It is brown to olive-green in colour. It has a long tail that can grow back (regenerate) if it falls off.

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