Examples of the Reptilia, or reptiles, include common garter snakes, chameleons, saltwater crocodiles, tuataras and Galapagos tortoises. There are about 9,500 species in the Reptilia family, the earliest of which evolved about 315 million years ago.
Reptiles emerged during the Carboniferous period, evolving from amphibians with adaptations that allowed them to live entirely on dry land. Common garter snakes are usually docile enough to be kept as pets. They give birth to as many as 80 live young at a time, which are independent from birth. Garter snakes eat toads, frogs and earthworms.
Chameleons are noted for their startling ability to change color and blend in with their surroundings. These lizards are native to Africa, southern Asia and southern Europe. Their eyes can move independently of each other, helping the chameleons spot their insect prey. Larger chameleons have been known to eat small lizards and birds. Chameleons' long sticky tongues shoot out to grab prey.
Salt water crocodiles, or "salties," can be found in Australia, India and southeast Asia. These the largest crocodiles in the world, and can grow over 22 feet long and weigh over 2 tons. Their primary habitat is the ocean, though they are also found in swamps, lagoons and estuaries.