ALL ABOUT REPTILES LESSON
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Have you ever seen a reptile outdoors or at the zoo? Perhaps you have a reptile as a pet. There are many different kinds of reptiles in the world. Some reptiles you've probably seen include snakes, komodo dragons, geckos, crocodiles, alligators, and turtles.
Reptiles are classified under the group known as vertebrates. Any organism that is a vertebrate has a backbone. Humans are also vertebrates, though they are not reptiles.
Reptiles are also classified by how many legs they have. A reptile has four legs so it is known as a tetrapod. They are called tetrapods because "tetra" is the Greek word meaning four. Pod is the Greek word meaning legged. So tetrapod is the perfect word for four-legged species.
Reptiles are divided into four main groups that are alive today. The four groups are Crocodilia, Rhynchocephalia, Squamata, and Chelonia. There are many reptile species that are now extinct. One species of extinct reptiles were known as the Dinosaurs.
Crocodilia contains approximately 23 different species. This group is believed to have descended from Dinosaurs. It is also the closest reptile group to birds. Over 220 million years ago other reptile species evolved into the species that now fits into the group called Crocodilia. (continued...)
All About Reptiles
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