One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Treated as plural. Originally: those animals which creep or crawl. In later use (Zoology): the class of vertebrates which comprises the reptiles (snakes, lizards, crocodiles, turtles, tortoises, and many extinct forms).
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Owen Felltham (?1602–1668), essayist and poet. From post-classical Latin reptilia, plural of reptile reptile.
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