It’s tough earning people’s sympathy when a lot of them are afraid of you. That might explain why reptiles don’t get the same conservation attention as cute and cuddly-looking mammals. To give the more than 8,000 species of reptiles a little more recognition, here are some of our favorite photos of the creatures.
  1. Ready to Duel
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    Long-nosed chameleons like this one in Madagascar sometimes use their snouts to joust. Their noses also help similar species identify each other. (Photograph by Christian Ziegler, National Geographic Creative)
  2. After While, Crocodile
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    A remote camera catches the tail-end of a crocodile crawling into its den at Zakouma National Park in the central-African nation of Chad. (Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic Creative)
  3. Can Venom Cure?
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    Jameson’s mambas, like this one in Mbanjong, Camroon, contain venom that may combat heart disease. (Photograph by Mattias Klum, National Geographic Creative)
  4. What’s Up?
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    An agamid lizard sits above a muddy creek in the Danum Valley Conservation Area of Borneo Island, Malaysia. (Photograph by Mattias Klum, National Geographic Creative)
  5. A Turtle With a Beak
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    A hawksbill sea turtle swims with a tracking tag on its flipper in the Little Bahama Bank of the Bahama Islands. Hawksbills get their name because of the sharp edges of their mouths. (Photograph by Jim Abernethy, National Geographic Creative)
  6. Is There Something on My Nose?
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    A leaf-nosed crested lizard keeps its head up in the Danum Valley of Borneo Island, Malaysia. (Photograph by Mattias Klum, National Geographic Creative)
  7. See You Later, Alligator
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    A rare white alligator swims in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas estimates that less than 15 American alligators are leucistic, a condition that reduces their skin pigmentation. (Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative)
  8. Big Tortoise on Campus
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    The Galápagos tortoises of the Galapagos Islands are the largest tortoises on Earth. Some can grow to or exceed 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length and weigh as much as 550 pounds (250 kilograms). (Photograph by Steve Winter, National Geographic Creative)
  9. Open Wide
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    A green turtle snake swallows a gecko in a rainforest. (Photograph by Mattias Klum, National Geographic Creative)
  10. Among the Baobab Trees
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    This two-foot-long (0.6 meters) Oustalet’s chameleon in Allee des Baobab, Madagascar, is one of the larger kinds in the region. Other chameleons in the country are less than an inch long. (Photograph by Christian Ziegler, National Geographic Creative)