The world of lizards is so fascinating that many people will be surprised to read this article. For example, did you know that lizards have a skill called autonomy in which they can amputate their tail to survive? But it seems surprising until you know why some species of lizards have the habit of constantly extracting their tongue out of their mouths. If you want to learn a little more about lizards, do not miss the article to read.
Characteristics of lizards
The scientific name of the lizards is Lacertilia. In this suborder of the reptiles, there are a total of 5600 species in about 46 families. The characteristics of the lizard make it a very unique animal, some species lack limbs. Although they can be differentiated from snakes by the presence of external eyelids and ears.
In nature, we find many lizards that use their language to “smell” and recognize the environment so that we can see them constantly extracting their language.
In addition to the above, it is surprising that the lizards can dispense with their tail when they are in dangerous situations (the detached tail serves to mislead the predators), although later they will develop this tail again. Generally, lizards are not aggressive, except for the Gila Monster whose venom can be dangerous to humans.
Regarding size, geckos are the smallest lizards on the planet with a few centimeters in length, while the Komodo dragon is so impressive that it can reach up to 3 meters long. This gives us an idea of the great variety that exists within this genre. While some species can spit blood through their eyes as a means of protection, the lizards can administer water in their body, and concerning the geckos, they are the only lizards that have vocal cords.
Undoubtedly, over 200 million years of evolution, lizards continuously impress us. Below, you can find more information about the lizard.
Where lizards live
Generally, the habitat of lizards is composed of tropical and subtropical zones and can cover a wide diversity of environments, from meadows, mountains, and deserts to more humid areas. Some lizards live under the rocks and in the cracks of the ground. but others prefer to live in the trees. They have excellent climbing qualities.
Thanks to the complex system that allows them to eliminate salt and retain water. Some lizards can survive in unfavorable conditions for other species. Given this characteristic, it is evident that being poikilothermic animals (whose internal temperature varies considerably), the lizards need abundant sunlight for their development.
What lizards eat
Inside the eating of lizards, there is also an important quality, and that is that they rely on their language to receive certain information about their food. Once they come to eat, the lizards will use their teeth to chew the food. Even They are able to regenerate their teeth throughout their lives.
As we have said before, there are many lizards that do not drink water. Their excretory system allows them to expel the salt and keep the organism hydrated. On many times, we can notice a slight crust or white residue on the skin of the lizards, and this is precisely the salt that has been expelled.
How lizards are born
The reproduction of the lizard can vary depending on the species and its habitat. While some lizards are entirely oviparous, others conceive of their live offspring. Usually, lizards reach sexual maturity when they reach one year of age, while others will not be ready for reproduction until they are three or four years old.
In some species, the asexual behavior is manifested, so many lizards do without mating to continue the species. In the rest of the cases, the females and the males communicate by means of the odor secreted by the glands of their body. But this is not all interesting in terms of how lizards breed. It is necessary to know that the majority of species must fend for themselves at birth since the mother will have left the nest as soon as possible as the laying is finished.
Female lizards make their hatches after three months of mating while some species conceive only one egg for each laying, others may cover a large number of eggs.
Let’s see below a brief summary of the most popular and known species of lizards on our planet.
Komodo Dragon: It is the largest species among all lizards. It can weight up to 68 kilograms and is the most aggressive and dangerous lizard in the world. The Komodo dragon is native to Indonesia.
Green anole: Although it is recognized as the American chameleon, the green anole is a lizard. It has the ability to change color according to their mood, and its distribution is shared between the United States and the Caribbean.
Horned lizard: Its appearance is frightening for some people. It has the body flattened in an oval shape and a pair of small horns on its head. It also receives the name of “llora bloods” and can be found in the western United States and northern Mexico.
Chameleon: These are the lizards that most easily alter the color of their body. Its prominent eyes and its long and broad tongue are two typical features of this animal, very common in Spain, California, Hawaii, and Asia.
Clamidosaurio de King: With such a striking name we could not expect less from this lizard. Its most impressive feature is the “fan” or pieces of cartilage and skin that unfold when they feel threatened. They can be found in Australia and New Guinea.
Gecko: Geckos are the smallest lizards, and they are usually green. In addition, it is the only lizard that has vocal cords, so it can emit sounds to communicate with their peers. Its habitat includes the warm regions of the planet.
Marine Iguana of Galapagos: It is the only marine species within lizards. They can immerse themselves in water up to 30 meters deep and can be identified by the crown of thorns that they carry on their head. As its name suggests, it is an endemic species of the Galapagos Islands.
Desert Iguana: It is very common in the Mojave Desert. Its adaptability allows it to survive in extremely dry and warm environments. It can measure up to almost a meter.
Chuckwalla: This is a true colossus within lizards. The chuckwalla possesses a skill that allows him to inflate his body inside the lair to avoid being captured by his predators. He comes from the western part of North America.
Gila Monster: Along with the enchaquirado lizard, is the only poisonous lizard on the planet. Its robust body and its brown color with characteristic light spots make it even more frightening. However, it is a very intelligent lizard. It is spread throughout the United States.
Green Iguana: The green iguana is found throughout Central America and part of South America. Its so peculiar body and its great size make it an exotic mascot very demanded, besides that they are calm and they are not carnivorous.
Enchaquirado Lizard: Related with the monster of Gila, this lizard inhabits the forests and deserts of Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States. It has a dark brown color and black bands along its body that gives it a very distinguished appearance.
Common basilisk: This is a very peculiar lizard since it is capable of running above water. Its diet is quite varied despite its size and can be found in Central America and part of the South American region.
Thorny Devil: As the name implies, this lizard has a body covered in thorns. Surprisingly, they can take the water through their skin, so just by receiving rainwater or stopping in a puddle, they stay hydrated.
Curiosities of lizards
- Did you know that August 14 is the lizards Day?
- The lizards possess what is known as Jacobson’s organ, and through it, they can gather information around them, and even reproduce.
- The defense mechanisms of the lizards are so impressive, that once he managed to spot a specimen with three tails on his body.
- Among the lizards, 50 species have a sexual reproduction. They reproduce automatically without the need of a partner.
- Have you ever wondered how lizards can climb? That’s because of some adhesive pads that allow them to adhere to almost any surface.
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