We have over 50 species of reptile including the Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard, and also the tuatara, a living fossil which can live for over 100 years.

Reptiles are the most misunderstood group of animals on the planet, widely reviled as being cold, slimey and ugly - nothing could be further from the truth! The reptile class includes snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodiles and tuataras.

Reptiles have been around for over 340 million years - they saw the dinosaurs come and go, and even saw the first birds fly. However, in the last 50 years, many reptile species have been driven to extinction and many more will disappear in the next few years unless we do much more to help save them.

Although reptiles are cold-blooded, most are able to maintain their body temperatures within a very narrow range by moving between hot and cold areas usually by basking in the sun or seeking shade. At the zoo, our reptile enclosures are carefully designed to allow each animal to choose their ideal temperature.

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