8 junio, 2024

The 15 Most Relevant Animals with Scales

Most of the animals with scales They are reptiles and fish. Some species of animals need scales because if they didn’t have them they would be very vulnerable: the scales act like armor to protect them.

All reptiles and fish have scales. Reptile scales develop from the skin. They are composed of keratin, the same element that human nails are made of; in the case of reptiles, this keratin is much thicker than that of the nails.

As reptiles grow, so do their scales. They need to get rid of the scales so they can grow new ones. These thick, hard scales are useful when fighting off predators.

animals with scales more interesting

1- Crocodiles

Crocodiles are large aquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australia.

Although all crocodiles are semi-aquatic and tend to congregate in waters such as rivers, lakes, and wetlands, the size, morphology, behavior, and ecology of crocodiles differ depending on their species.

All crocodiles are carnivorous, feeding mainly on vertebrates such as fish, mammals, reptiles, and birds. All crocodiles are tropical species that are sensitive to cold. Many species are on the brink of extinction.

2- Rutiles

It is a freshwater fish native to most of Europe and western Asia.

It is a small fish, with a silvery-blue body with a white stomach. Its fins are red. The number of scales in its natural line is from 39 to 48.

Rutiles can be recognized by the large red mark on the iris, above and to the side of the pupil.

3- Sharks

Cartilaginous fish, such as sharks, are covered with placoid scales. The placoid scales of these fish are structurally homologous with vertebrate teeth.

The shark is a fish characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton, it has 5 to 7 gills on the sides of the head and pectoral fins that are not attached to its head. Sharks are a sister group to rays.

There are more than 500 species. It has a wide range in size: species measure from 17 centimeters to 12 meters in length.

Sharks can be found in all oceans and many of them are at the top of the food chain.

3- Tuataras

They are endemic reptiles of New Zealand. Although they resemble most lizards, they are from a different lineage.

This species is of great interest in the study of the evolution of lizards and snakes, for the reconstruction of the appearance and habits of ancient diapsids (a group that included dinosaurs, birds, and crocodiles).

They are greenish-brown and gray in color, measure up to 80 centimeters, and have a spiny crest along their back.

They are able to hear, although they do not have an external ear, and have a number of unique skeletal features that they apparently retained from fish in their evolution.

4- Stripes (batoid)

It is a suborder of cartilaginous fish. Their closest relatives are sharks. They have more than 600 species in 26 families.

They are distinguished by their flat bodies, elongated pectoral fins that are fused to their head, and gills on their ventral surfaces.

5- Snakes

They are elongated legless carnivorous reptiles. They have the ability to swallow prey much larger than their heads thanks to their movable jaws. Snakes can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

More than 3,600 species are recognized; many species are not venomous, but those that do have venom use it to kill their prey.

6- Geckolepis

They are a type of gecko endemic to Madagascar and the Commodore Islands.

They are nocturnal, arboreal, and insectivorous reptiles, known for their ability to lose their skin and scales when grabbed by a predator.

7- Folidotus

They are mammals with protective keratin scales covering their skin; they are the only species of mammal with this feature.

Depending on their species they vary in size, live in trees and their diet consists of ants and termites.

They live in parts of Asia and in Africa. All species are in danger of extinction.

8- Alligators

It is a crocodile of the genus alligator. There are two living species: the American and the Chinese. It is distinguished from crocodiles, since its snout is shorter and squarer, in addition to the fact that its mouth is completely closed.

They are usually less violent than crocodiles.

9- Steller’s Sea Eagle

It is a giant bird that lives in Asia. It is the heaviest eagle in the world.

Bird scales are made of keratin. They are mainly found on their paws and lower legs.

The scales were believed to be homologous to those of reptiles; however, the scales in birds evolved separately.

10- Monitor lizard

They are large lizards native to Africa, Asia, and Oceania. There are a total of 79 species.

These scaly lizards have long necks, powerful tails, well-developed claws and limbs.

Most are carnivorous, but some eat fruits and vegetables. The most recognized species is the Komodo dragon.

11- Iguanas

They are herbivorous lizards native to the tropical areas of America and the Caribbean. They vary from 1.5 to 1.8 meters long. Iguanas have a row of spines running down their back to their tail, and a dewlap.

Behind its neck are small scales that look like rays; these scales have a variety of colors. They also have large round scales on their cheeks.

12- Pineapple fish

Their round bodies are completely covered in strong, large scales, fortified with prominent edges. They are generally yellow or orange, with the scales being edged with black.

Its distribution is limited to the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.


They are mostly freshwater fish widely distributed in Africa, Eurasia and North America. Its scales vary depending on the species as its size changes significantly, coming to find fish of almost 2 meters in length.

14- Musky rat kangaroo

It is a unique marsupial of its kind, it is endemic and its distribution includes the tropical forests of northeastern Australia. Its tail is covered in scales and almost devoid of hair.


These insects have their wings covered with tiny scales whose function is thermoregulation, courtship and signaling, since these create a large distinctive pattern for each species and individual.

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