• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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  • 2014 Changes to the Superintendent's Compendium

    Point Reyes National Seashore will be including an unmanned aircraft closure to the Superintendent's Compendium. The NPS invites the public to submit written suggestions, comments, and concerns about this change. Comment deadline is August 19. More »

Reptiles

Nature and Science

California red-sided gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis)

Today there are 6,800 reptile species on earth; the major groups are alligators/crocodiles, turtles, lizards, and snakes. All reptiles are cold-blooded, and have bodies covered in dry, horny scales. Some reptiles lay eggs; others give birth to live young. Reptiles are distinguished from amphibians by the presence of scales.



The 14 species of reptiles found at Point Reyes National Seashore are found in a wide variety of habitats. Turtles utilize habitats such as freshwater ponds, streams, drainage ditches, marshes, stock ponds and the open ocean. Lizards occur in almost every habitat except the dampest innermost forest and the tidal salt marsh. Snakes prefer warm and dry environments, therefore the humid environment at Point Reyes limits the population sizes of several species.



View Reptiles of Point Reyes National Seashore species list (15 KB PDF, Adobe® Acrobat Reader® required).



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Did You Know?

Bubblegum coral. Image courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

On the Cordell Bank, just 32 kilometers (20 miles) to the west of Point Reyes, there are deep-water corals that are 10 to 15 meters (33 to 50 feet) high and estimated to be over 1500 years old. More...