The reptiles of Australia are a diverse group of animals, widely distributed across the continent. Three of the four orders of reptiles are native to Australia: Testudines, Squamata and Crocodilia. The only missing extant order is Sphenodontia, containing the tuataras, which are endemic to New Zealand. Australia has a large diversity of reptiles, with over 860 species. This is rich in comparison to other continents. For example, North America has approximately 280 species of reptile. The most diverse group is Squamata, also known as the snakes and lizards. The snakes and lizards are especially diverse in the arid areas of Australia, where diversity of other fauna is generally low. Spinifex grass is a major habitat which allows them to remain in a relatively cool, moist area.
Australia has a large array of reptiles which can be dangerous to humans. The world's largest reptile, the Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), is native to Australia.
Australian reptile familiesEdit
- List of reptiles of Tasmania
- List of reptiles of Western Australia
- Harold G. Cogger. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Sydney, AH & AW Reed. Revised edition, 1983. ISBN 0589503561 [1979 and subsequent editions]