Reptile Glossary

Online Veterinary Education Library

Our team of specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our clients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your pet's health. Please use our educational library to learn more about health problems and treatments available for your pet. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

Amphibian - Cold-blooded vertebrates that live in water and on land, including frogs and toads, salamanders and newts and caecilians.

Anthropod - A group of limbed and jointed animals that have external skeletons, including insects, arachnids and crustaceans.

Aquatic - Animals living in water.

Arachnid - A category of anthropods that includes spiders, scorpions, tarantulas, ticks and mites.

Arboreal - Animals living in woodland areas with trees.

Caecilian - A type of amphibian that is blind, legless and shaped like a worm.

Carnivore - Animals that eat meat or protein for their diets.

Chelonian - A category of reptiles that includes turtles, tortoises and terrapins.

Crepuscular - Animals that become active at dusk, dawn or twilight.

Crocodilians - A category of reptiles that includes alligators, crocodiles, gavials and caiman.

Diurnal - Animals that are active during the day.

Ectothermic - Animals that cannot regulate body temperature internally, but have to regulate temperature through their environment, such as seeking shade, burrowing or hibernating.

Fossilian - Animals that need land or sand for burrowing.

Herpetology - The scientific study of reptiles and amphibians.

Herptile - The combined classification of reptiles and amphibians.

Herbivore - Animals that eat plants for their diets.

Insectivore - Animals that eat insects for their diets.

Invertebrate - Animals that have no spinal column or backbones.

Nocturnal - Animals that are active during the night.

Omnivore - Animals that eat protein (meat) and plants for their diet.

Riparian - Animals living on both land and water. Also known as semi-aquatic.

Scansorial - Animals living in rocky terrains.

Semi-aquatic - Animals living on both land and water. Also known as riparian.

Terrestrial - Animals living on land.

Urodele - An amphibian category that contains newts and salamanders. These animals have long tails and small legs and are usually found in or near water.

Vertebrate - Animals that have a backbone.