Reptiles include snakes, lizards, crocodiles, alligators, turtles and a variety of similar creatures. They all have scales on their bodies, and some, like the alligators, also have large bony plates. They differ from birds and mammals in that they are cold-blooded, a condition that causes the body temperature to vary with the temperature of the air. For this reason, reptiles that live in temperate regions must hibernate during the winter months or die.
It is unfortunate that so many people have a· fear of reptiles, either real or affected because in some ways these animals are the most interesting in the entire animal kingdom. The average person thinks that reptiles are slimy but, actually, the skin of all reptiles is very dry. The scales of some snakes and lizards shine when the sun strikes them, and it is this reflected light that sometimes makes the skin look wet.