The idea of ‘scales’ often brings to mind images of slimy, unpleasant creatures that creep, crawl and slither. Certainly, we humans would hate to think of our own skin as scaly. But have you ever considered the idea that the hard, horned skin of reptiles might actually be aesthetically appealing? If you have, you’re in good company: experts believe that the vivid patterning found on snakes inspired early art, not to mention the tessellated mosaics that feature in Islamic art. And then there are those for whom reptile scales have an effect akin to looking at a ‘magic eye painting,’ conjuring up pictures of landscapes, and – through the symmetry of their patterns and bold colors – more abstract forms of art, too. Here we bring together a stunning array of images that show the often-overlooked beauty that can be found in the scales of snakes, lizards and crocodiles.