Reptile Classification


Herpetology (science of amphibians and reptiles) described us until now the not inconsiderable figure of nearly 10,000 species of living reptiles. Basically, we can group the reptiles as follows, according to the latest data from 2010:

  • Turtles: 318 species in 13 families
  • Squamata, or the scaled reptiles:
    • Lizards (Suborder Sauria) 5.473species in 25 families
    • Legless lizards (Suborder Amphisbaenia) 181 species in 6 families
    • Snakes (suborder Ophidia) 3,321 species in 21 families
  • Tuataras: 2 unique species in a single genus (Sphenodon)
  • Crocodiles: 24 species in 3 families

How and why reptiles thus classified? What a herpetologist is based in deciding whether a reptile fit into either group? These are difficult questions and not even the real experts are in complete agreement. To move on and understand, accept the most supported theories. As we say, strictly speaking reptiles Sauropsida fall into the clade that includes Anapsid and diapsid (note that currently this also adds to the birds). The synapsidos (mammals and reptiles with mammalian characters) are not going to be included in this group, although in earlier times as well.