Australian Reptiles on White

Australia's Bad and Beautiful Reptiles

Eons of evolution and isolation from other land masses have gifted Australia with some truly mind-blowing reptiles. Enjoy.

In a country as large as Australia — at nearly 3 million square miles, it's nearly twice the size of India — boasting tropical rain forests, bone-dry deserts, and one of the lowest population densities in the world, you're bound to find some rather intense reptiles. Here, a few of our favorites. (Pictured: The Centralian Rough Knobtail Gecko.)

Meet the Eastern Bearded Dragon VW Pics Meet the Eastern Bearded Dragon When threatened, the EBD inflates its throat and displays its "beard" — actually a collection of spiny, dark grey scales. Meet the Woma Python VW Pics Meet the Woma Python Why, you ask, is the Woma's body covered with scars? Those are emblems of the violent struggles rodents engage in when a Woma pins them against the walls of its burrow before, like, eating them. Meet the Ackies Dwarf Monitor VW Pics Meet the Ackies Dwarf Monitor A patient sit-and-wait-predator, this monitor eats mostly insects (beetles, cockroaches) and lizards of very small stature. And for the record, this Dwarf isn't all that small, usually clocking in at more than two feet long from tongue to tail. Meet the Rough Scaled Python VW Pics Meet the Rough Scaled Python Only discovered in 1976, this is the rarest snake in Australia; fewer than a dozen have been captured in the wild. It's believed that they spend most of their time in the tree tops or nestled in sandstone caves but, as stated, they're super rare so no one knows for sure. Meet the Frilled Neck Dragon VW Pics Meet the Frilled Neck Dragon A tree-dweller, this lizard is hard to spot (camouflage at work!) and is most often seen after a rain. Those frills? They're big during mating season. Meet the Common Death Adder VW Pics Meet the Common Death Adder Talk about the power of branding. Originally, this snake's name was "deaf adder" due to the fact that it couldn't hear airborne sounds. Somewhere along the line "deaf" became "death," instantly granting this serpent badass status. Meet the Murray River Turtle VW Pics Meet the Murray River Turtle If you're a fan of egg trivia — and, really, who isn't? — here's a keeper: The Murray River Turtle's eggs hatch an incredible eight days after they're laid. That, of course, is an incubation period a full two weeks shorter than chickens'. Collett's Snake VW Pics Collett's Snake At nearly six feet long, with a loud hiss and highly toxic venom, the prettily named Collett's Snake is, well, best avoided. Meet the Rough Knobtail Gecko VW Pics Meet the Rough Knobtail Gecko Named without a single ounce of creativity, the "knobtail" is so christened because there is knob at the end of its tail. Meet the Common Tiger Snake VW Pics Meet the Common Tiger Snake Common Tigers not only rank among the deadliest snakes in the world, but are also expert climbers. They've been found atop structures 30 feet high. Meet the Central Netted Dragon VW Pics Meet the Central Netted Dragon For these "dragons," it's all about body language: They communicate with each other by moving their heads and waving their legs. Meet the Julatten Jungle Python VW Pics Meet the Julatten Jungle Python Females can grow to over eight and a half feet long. Oh, and if you're reading this and you happen to be a rodent or a baby bunny, run! Meet the Smooth Knobtail Gecko VW Pics Meet the Smooth Knobtail Gecko This gecko can live for 10 years. In a landscape as unforgiving as rural Australia, that's a long, long time. Meet the Yellow Phase Central Bearded Dragon VW Pics Meet the Yellow Phase Central Bearded Dragon According to one source, the "Bearded Dragon" scares off would-be predators by using threatening looks. Meet the Eastern Brown Snake VW Pics Meet the Eastern Brown Snake Male Eastern Browns compete in a ritual dance-slash-combat for mates. Meet the Black-headed Python VW Pics Meet the Black-headed Python These snakes are common household pets and can live for up to 30 years. Just imagine, an escaped pet snake slithering through your house for 30 ... years ... Meet the Northern Blue Tongue Lizard VW Pics Meet the Northern Blue Tongue Lizard Traditionally, they lived in grasslands or woodlands but, sadly, the Northern Blue Tongue has had to adapt to living under human garbage. They eat slugs and snails. Still, as evidenced by the photo above, they clean up nice. Meet the Red-bellied Black Snake VW Pics Meet the Red-bellied Black Snake We don't often think about a snake's neck — except when it's missing. Red Belly here has no distinct neck area, so its head is barely distinguishable from its body. Some call this skink a Tiliqua Rugosa. Some call it the Shingleback Lizard. Either way, this guy does not produce its own body heat. VW Pics Some call this skink a Tiliqua Rugosa. Some call it the Shingleback Lizard. Either way, this guy does not produce its own body heat. Meet the Southern Angle-Headed Dragon VW Pics Meet the Southern Angle-Headed Dragon Unfortunately, this dragon is quite slow. Fortunately, it is nicely camouflaged, especially for life in Australia's rainforests. Meet the Children's Python VW Pics Meet the Children's Python Yes, it is small. Yes, it is non-venomous. But that doesn't mean this python is good for the kiddies. It was actually named after John G. Children, who was the keeper of the Department of Zoology at the British Museum in the 1830s. Bird Boy John James Audubon actually named a warbler after Children ... but the specimen turned out to be a juvenile yellow warbler. Still, Children always has this python. Meet the Growling Grass Frog VW Pics Meet the Growling Grass Frog A frog that growls? Some describe this creature's call as sounding like a duck that's being violently choked. Bonus: Meet the Rufous Rat-Kangaroo VW Pics Bonus: Meet the Rufous Rat-Kangaroo The only non-reptile in the bunch, but a worthy inclusion nonetheless. There's really only one thing one needs to know about the Rufous Rat-Kangeroo's romantic life: These small marsupials are polygynous — that is, they have more than one mate. And with a critter this cute, it's no wonder.