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October 20, 2018 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"reptile"
Definition--any cold-blooded scaly vertebrate animal, for example lizards, snakes, tortoises, turtles, crocodiles, alligators, and many extinct species, including dinosaurs and pterodactyls.
 
 
Discussion--Reptiles are often called "creepy crawlies" because of their means of locomotion and their predilection for swampy surroundings. In fact the root of the word comes from the Latin for to creep or to crawl.

Unlike amphibians, such as frogs and toads, reptiles never go through a water-breathing stage, though many need a watery environment to survive.

Snakes are the most varied form of reptile. Some believe they evolved from lizards, using elongated internal organs, specialized muscles, scaled skin, and various patterns and colors to provide camouflage and protection and to increase their chance of survival. Snakes can tunnel beneath sand, swim in the sea, climb in the crowns of trees, as well as slither along the land.
 

Etymology--The term reptile is borrowed from the Old French reptile, which was borrowed directly from Late Latin reptilis, an adjective meaning creeping or crawling.

The languages below all display similar roots.



   Foreign Translations
German:  Reptil (nt)
Dutch:  reptiel (het)
French:  reptile (m)
Italian:  rettile
Spanish:  reptil

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