We provide an overview of the host range, taxonomic classification and genomic diversity of animal papillomaviruses. The complete genomes of 112 non-human papillomavirus types, recovered from 54 different host species, are currently available in GenBank. The recent characterizations of reptilian papillomaviruses extend the host range of the Papillomaviridae to include all amniotes. Although the genetically diverse papillomaviruses have a highly conserved genomic lay-out, deviations from this prototypic genome organization are observed in several animal papillomaviruses, and only the core ORFs E1, E2, L2 and L1 are present in all characterized papillomavirus genomes. The discovery of papilloma-polyoma hybrids BPCV1 and BPCV2, containing a papillomaviral late region but an early region encoding typical polyomaviral nonstructural proteins, and the detection of recombination breakpoints between the early and late coding regions of cetacean papillomaviruses, could indicate that early and late gene cassettes of papillomaviruses are relatively independent entities that can be interchanged by recombination.