Natural selection has provided them with exciting qualities that have allowed them to survive. But, of course, its intimidating appearance is still curious for universal taxonomy. Studies have determined the rarest reptiles in the world based on their appearance and what they are capable of doing.
Chelonians among the rarest reptiles in the world
One of the world’s rarest reptiles is the Matamata tortoise, an endemic species to the Amazon basin. Large and flattened, it stalks its prey under blankets of leaves and branches at the bottom of shallow river beds. When a fish approaches, it opens its enormous mouth generating a stream of water that carries the prey into its jaws. The Matamata turtle has a peculiar and strong smell that keeps it safe from the preference of hunters. Its large bumps on the skin and shell make it one of the rarest reptiles in the world.
A marine iguana in the Pacific
The very strange marine iguana is endemic to the Galapagos Islands, a dependency of Ecuador. It is the only known lizard that has adapted to life in the marine environment. For this reason, it has taken on a dark coloration and spends much of its time on the rocks in the sun, accumulating body heat. The Galapagos marine iguana is included in the list of the rarest reptiles in the world. It feeds on the algae that it fishes at the bottom of the sea. To withstand the cold Pacific temperatures, you can slow your heart rate and even paralyze your heart without any risk. Seaweed is their almost only diet. To balance the salt intake, they have developed a method to excrete the excess through sneezing.
The flying dragon, wings to glide
Although the name suggests that this reptile flies, it only glides between trees, from one higher to another lower. It cannot reach great distances in its flight, but the flying dragon is frequently included in the rarest reptiles’ lists in the world. It is a small lizard that can spread the skin on the sides of the body to glide. It feeds on ants and termites, reaching a length of between 19 and 23 centimeters. It inhabits the forested areas of South Asia, India, the Philippine Islands, and Borneo. The hanging skin that you can extend to glide is called a patagio.
Fishing crocodile, the gharial
The gharial of the Ganges is a crocodile that feeds on fish. Its long snout that ends in a bulge distinguishes it from the rest of the crocodiles. It cannot feed on large prey because if you put too much pressure on its snout, it can snap. Its habitat is located in the Ganges river basin and Pakistan. Males of this species can reach up to five meters in length and weigh close to 250 kilos. It is an animal with good swimming skills, although, on land, it can only move by crawling on its belly.
A prickly but harmless lizard
The spiny lizard lives in Australia and is one of the rarest reptiles in the world. It is a strange little lizard whose body is covered with spines on the top. It can drink through the skin. It absorbs the humidity or the water it finds in its desert habitat and is conducted to the mouth through capillarity. When the spiny lizard encounters a predator, it curls up and displays a false head with spines that make it unpalatable. Despite its appearance, it is harmless to humans: it feeds on ants that it hunts with its tongue, such as the anteater.