Reptiles All Share These Characteristics

reptiles, turtle

A painted turtle is a reptile and is related to a western rattlesnake.

Reptiles, no matter if they are found in the Rocky Mountains or the Sahara desert, all share certain characteristics.  Here are the the 6 things that all reptiles have in common.

All animals and forms of life are organized based on their common characteristics.  These shared characteristics are what make a reptile a reptile and not a mammal, bird, or plant.  Here are the common characteristics that all reptiles share, including snakes, turtles, and crocodiles.

reptile, tuatara

A tuatara (not a lizard) is one of the four orders of reptiles.

What Kinds Of Reptiles Are There?

There are four main orders of reptiles in the world.  Remember ‘order’ is one of the organizational levels used to classify all forms of life.

However, only two of them can be found in the Rocky Mountains because winters are freezing and summers are cool.  The four orders are:

  1. Snakes and lizards;
  2. Turtles;
  3. Crocodilians (think crocodiles – do not live in the Rocky Mountains);
  4. Tuataras (Do not live in the Rocky Mountains.  In fact they only live on some islands off of New Zealand).

All Reptiles Have These Characteristics

Have a backbone, meaning they are vertebrates.


Covered with scales.

Shed skin as they grow.

Most lay eggs on land.

Most have no eyelids.

reptiles, snake

The western rattlesnake is the only poisonous snake in the Rocky Mountains.

Luckily Only One Snake In Rocky Mountains Is Poisonous

Some areas of the world have a lot of dangerous and poisonous snakes.  For example, Australia has around 10 poisonous snakes, including some of the most venomous in the world.  Luckily, there is only one poisonous snake in the Rocky Mountains – the Western Rattlesnake.

Read this to make sure you know what to do in order to keep yourself and your kids safe if you see a rattlesnake.

Or read this to find out what to do if you or someone with you gets bitten by a rattlesnake.