There are over 10,000 species of reptiles on the planet: snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, crocs, and gators. Ranging from small to mighty, we think all of these cold-blooded creatures are fascinating in their own way. That said, there are a few species that stick out from the rest. Check out the top 3 coolest reptiles of 2021 you can keep as pets and learn why they have captured the fancy of herp-lovers around the world.
To kick off our countdown is a longtime favorite, the ball python. One of the kindest of the python family, Python regius has been beloved by reptiles beginners and experts for decades (and we don’t imagine their popularity will dip anytime soon). They make wonderful pets and logistically, are a breeze to care for. Tame, docile, and non-aggressive, ball pythons are as easygoing in temperament as they are with their care requirements.
These reasons have made ball pythons’ top position on the best-selling snake in the reptile pet trade. However what makes them one of the coolest reptiles boils down to one thing and that is looks. Morphs are the variations from a species’ typical appearance, such as being born with a different set of colors or patterns—and ball pythons have thousands of them! Available in an unparalleled array of colors as well.
The next coolest reptile of 2021 is another that you’ve likely already heard of. Bearded dragons are a wildly popular pet reptile option beloved by beginners as well as seasoned reptile-keeping pros. Like ball pythons, they are low maintenance in their care needs, tame, and are well adjusted to human interaction. What sets them apart from other reptiles (and why they’re considered to be one of the coolest) is how smart they are.
Their above-average intelligence (compared to other reptiles, mind you) puts them in a league of their own. Bearded dragons are capable of things that your average herp could never dream of like recognizing their owners, being affectionate, and coolest of all, learning tricks. You didn’t misread that, yes, there are many bearded dragon owners who have taught their lizard to come when called, sit, or even climb into your hand.
Also known as the African spur thigh tortoise (many cool points earned for that name alone), the sulcata tortoise is the third largest tortoise species in the world, succeeded by the Galapagos and Aldabra giant tortoises. However, sulcata tortoises are the biggest of the species you can find as a pet. They can weigh over 100 pounds, grow to almost 3 feet long, and live to be 80 years old! In addition to being the biggest, this barrel-sized tortoise is also considered to be one of the cutest.
Other cool qualities about them? Native to African grasslands, (hot and dry) sulcata tortoises can go days without food and water. If this happens, they can eat up to 15% of their body weight when they do finally come into contact with food or water—a considerable amount by any means.
Keen to get your hands on one of the coolest reptiles of 2021? You can find these and other reptiles for sale online at specialty pet shops. There you will find the greatest selection of reptiles and reptile morphs that any herp-lover could want.