Reptiles have been walking around on the earth for millions of years. The
fact that some reptiles are large and predatory has led to many attitudes,
myths, and legends about them. If you mention the word snake most people
cringe and voice a negative attitude. Not because they have had a bad encounter
with a snake, but because misinformed people have attached a negative connotation
to the snake through the centuries. The snake's bad rap started before it
was used as the subject of a metaphor in the Bible. Even though only about
10% of the 3000 species of snakes are venomous, the snake has become a symbol
The fear of the crocodile is easier to understand, yet many times misplaced.
The crocodiles are of the oldest living reptiles. Some grow to in excess
of 16 feet and can weigh over a ton! Attitudes towards lizards have grown
very favorable over the years as more lizards are kept in captivity than
snakes. Those that fear snakes usually have a better attitude towards lizards
merely because they have legs. The lizards are a very diverse group including
one specie of chameleon that is known to have the smallest bones of any living
vertebrate to the giant Komodo Dragons which are the largest living lizards.
There are a two lizard species (genus Heloderma) that are venomous, yet their
venom is only employed when provoked; otherwise these are very docile creatures.
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