Reptiles Encyclopedia: Reptile is the common name for one of the main groups of land vertebrates. It is not used so much by biologists, who use more accurate terms. The name “reptile” comes from Latin and means “one who creeps”. All living reptile species are cold blooded, have scaly skin, and lay cleidoic eggs. They excrete uric acid (instead of urea), and have a cloaca. A cloaca is a shared opening for the anus, urinary tract and reproductive ducts. Reptiles also share an arrangement of the heart and major blood vessels which is different from that of mammals.