Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Squamata Diet

  • Robert L. HillEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_95-1



Of the currently extant nonavian Reptilia, the order Squamata is by far the largest. At the time of this writing, this order is represented by 10,221 described species. This group includes some of the most recognizable of reptiles, the lizards and snakes. Within the lizards, diets vary widely from strict herbivores to purely carnivorous forms. Some well-known examples on either end of the spectrum are the iguanas in the family Iguanidae (herbivores) and the generally large, among lizards, carnivorous (or mostly so) monitor lizards (family Varanidae). The Serpentes (snakes) are all some variation of carnivore (insectivorous, oophagous, carnivorous), with most having lightly constructed skulls that appear to be formed by series of struts and ligaments that allow for the consumption of prey larger than the size of their heads in a number of taxa. Most famously, this skull construction allows snakes like the giant boas and pythons to swallow prey as...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zoo AtlantaAtlantaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alexis Garland
    • 1
  1. 1.Ruhr UniversityBochumGermany