Reptiles in the Discovery Centre
From snakes who can eat whole leopards to lizards who can walk on water, discover some of the world's most amazing reptiles at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
Green tree python
If you don't spot the green tree python straightaway then just look up - this snake curls around branches disguised as a bunch of unripe bananas! It eats lizards, birds and small mammals.
Yemen chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) originate from Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, living in hilly, arid scrubland. They eat mainly insects and vegetation when insects are unavailable. Chameleons are well known for their ability to change colour which allows them to remain camouflaged in a variety of backgrounds. However, they change colour far more often in response to their emotions.
These amazing lizards are able to run short distances across water using both feet and tail for support. They are also excellent swimmers and can stay under water for up to 30 minutes. Plumed basilisk lizards are from the tropical forests of Mexico and Equador.
West African Dwarf Crocodile
The dwarf crocodile is a slow, timid and mainly nocturnal reptile. The West African Dwarf Crocodile is actually the most armoured of all crocodiles to protect itself from predators. Adult dwarf crocodiles reach an average length of 1.5 metres, but the laregst recorded was nearly two metres long.
Pythons are constrictors, snakes that kill by wrapping around their prey and squeezing until it suffocates. The python’s mouth is flexible and allows prey to be swallowed whole. A muscle connecting the two halves of the lower jaw allows the mouth to open very wide. Fearsome predators, pythons can grow to over 7m in length and have been known to kill and eat animals as large as a leopard!