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Which Reptiles Make the Best Pets?


Reptiles sure are cute! But which ones make the best pets for kids?

When most people think of pets, they think of furry or feathery friends. However, scaly reptiles can make excellent pets, too! Here are five types of reptiles that make excellent pets. Photo by Andrea Salis

1. Bearded Dragons

  • Also called “Beardies”

  • Originally from Australia

  • Diurnal, which means they are active during the day

  • Docile, friendly, easy to care for

  • Enjoy running on the floor to play with their humans

  • Can grow to be one to two feet long

  • Can live to be 15 years old

Photo by Tessa M.

2. Leopard Gecko

  • From the grasslands of southwestern Asia

  • Come in many bright colors

  • They often look like they’re smiling!

  • Nocturnal (which means they are active during the night) or crepuscular (active during the dusk and dawn hours)

  • Safe to handle

  • Can grow to be 10 inches longg.

  • Can live to be 15 years old

Photo by Shaina G.


3. Ball Python

  • From sub-Saharan Africa

  • Come in many patterns and colors that are called “morphs”

  • Called “ball” pythons because they curl into a ball to defend themselves

  • Docile and easily handled

  • Not likely to bite

  • Can grow to be five feet long

  • Can live to be 30 years old!

4. Russian Tortoise

  • Found only in Central Asia

  • Fun fact: two Russian tortoises were sent into space to circle the moon in 1968.

  • They were the first animals to travel to the moon and returned home safely.

  • Diurnal

  • Love to crunch on leafy greens

  • Can live indoors or outdoors

  • Can grow to be 10 inches long

  • Can live to be 40 years old!

5. Crested Gecko


  • Native to New Caledonia, a group of islands west of Australia

  • Their crest of spines allows them to blend in with plants.

  • They come in many colors and patterns.

  • Cannot regrow their tails like other geckos.

  • Nocturnal

  • Can grow to be 8 inches long

  • Can live up to 15 years

Always remember to do your research before getting a pet! Raising exotics is much different than caring for a dog or a cat. Also, check your local shelter and consider adopting. You may be surprised to see how many people have surrendered exotic pets! Photo by Phoenix Herpetological Society

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