45+ Interesting Facts About Lizards

  1. Lizards are reptiles with around 6,000 species. Their closest living relatives are snakes and worm lizards. 
  2. Lizards are present all over the world except Antarctica and extreme northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
  3. Four legs and feet in most lizards are their most prominent difference from snakes. They are also distinguishable from snakes due to the presence of external ears, movable eyelids, two lungs (snakes have a single lung), and less flexible jaws. (Source)
  4. Thorny Devil, lives in deserts of Australia, cannot drink water directly due to structure of its mouth. It uses its feet and skin as a straw to sip water from the sand. (Source)
  5. All the members of Whiptail lizards are female. They can reproduce without male lizards, thanks to the presence of extra chromosomes. (Source)
  6. Lizards can detach their tail for defense purposes. Most of them can re-grow their tail several times. But few lizards, like crested geckos, can not grow back their tail after losing them once. (Source)
  7. The size of lizards may vary. They can be as small as just a few cm in length (geckos and chameleons), while some can reach up to 3 meters (Komodo dragon).
  8. Geckos (common lizards) and most other lizard species are without venom and harmless. However, some species contain the toxin.
  9. Komodo dragon, Mexican beaded lizard, and Gila monster are the three known venomous species of lizards.
  10. The Komodo dragon, present in Indonesia, is the largest and most venomous lizard. This dangerous lizard can also kill and eat big animals such as water buffalo.
  11. The regenerated lizard tail is different from the original one. These new tails contain cartilage instead of vertebrae, while their muscle fibers are longer than the original tails. These changes reduce the flexibility of this new tail. (Source)
  12. Most lizards are carnivores, and their diet is solely composed of meat. But few herbivore lizards eat plant food. These include desert iguana, green iguana, and chuckwalla.
  13. The world’s oldest lizard fossil is 240 million years old. This fossil of the most ancient ancestor of modern lizards and snakes was discovered in Italy. (Source)
  14. Geckos and some other lizards cannot blink. They use their tongue to moisturize and clean their eyes.
  15. Most lizards have four legs. However, there are also a few lizards without legs, commonly known as legless lizards.
  16. Chameleons, geckos, and some other lizard species can change their body color. The process of changing color in chameleons and other lizards is dissimilar from squid and octopuses. (Source)
    A gecko climbing glass wall
    The process of body color change in lizards is different from other animals

  17. Geckos are known for their extraordinary ability to climb walls. Even heavier geckos can maintain this trait. Recent studies show that geckos become stiffer as they grow, which retains their ability to climb and run over smooth surfaces like glass. (Source)
  18. Lizards cannot stay underwater for a long duration. But a lizard species (river anoles) has been found to live inside water for 16 minutes or more due to its unique breathing traits. This tropical lizard in Costa Rica can breathe inside water through a tiny bubble of air at the top of its head. (Source)
  19. There are 17 species of horned lizards. Most of them can squirt blood from the eyes as a defensive mechanism. (Source)
  20. The largest class of lizards is the skinks family. It has nearly 1,300 species, present in many parts of the world. 
  21. Skink is the first known vertebrate animal that lays eggs and gives live birth in a single pregnancy. (Source)
  22. Most lizards have better color vision than humans and few can even see colors in dim light. Some species can also see UV light. (Source)
  23. Geckos are the noisiest among lizards. Many other species of lizards can also produce different sounds, some of which are inaudible to humans. However, most of the species are silent. (Source)
  24. Common geckos can live from 1 to 5 years. But the maximum lifespan in some lizard species is up to 50 years.
  25. Lizards cannot breathe while running. Due to this weakness, most lizards cannot run vigorously for more than two minutes. They need hours to recover from this energy debt. (Source)
  26. Few lizard species can run on two legs. South American basilisk uses this ability to run over water. This process also assists in acceleration. (Source)
  27. Fence Lizards in the USA use awareness gained by “stress hormones” to escape from invasive fire ants. (Source)
  28. Lace monitor lays eggs in termite mounds. After laying eggs, the mother leaves and lets termites reseal the eggs. It returns to the nest at hatching and opens eggs with its claws. (Source)
  29. The bearded dragon is considered the most friendly reptile that loves the company of humans. Other most friendly lizards are geckos, the Argentine tegus, and the blue tongue skink.
  30. Few lizards are kept as exotic pets. The famous ones include Leopard Geckos, Bearded dragons, Green Anoles, and others.
  31. Lizards eat several harmful insects in homes. These include cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, termites, etc.
  32. At the time of danger, a frill neck lizard hisses and pops up colorful skin flap that encircles its head. (Source)
    A frilled-neck lizard in a defensive mode
    A frill neck lizard has a strange defensive technique

  33. Monogamy is rare in reptiles. The best example of a monogamous reptile is the Australian sleepy lizard. This lizard is monogamous, and the pair may remain together for up to 27 years. (Source)
  34. The males of side-blotched lizards have three different colors (orange, blue, and yellow) of their throats. All these males have varying mating procedures and social structures. (Source)
  35. Males in a few lizard species do pushups in the morning and evening. The purpose of this pushup contest is to show strength and occupy territory. (Source)
  36. Most lizards have a third eye at the top of their heads. This parietal eye assists them in sensing something above them. It is also helpful in knowing the movement of the sun across the sky. (Source)
  37. Draco lizards (flying dragons) use their skin folds between elongated ribs as wings. These wings help the lizard to glide. (Source)
  38. Human babies have lizard-like extra muscles in their hands while in the womb. They lose these additional muscles before birth. (Source)
  39. Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the USA. It transmits from ticks to humans. Lizards play a vital role in controlling this illness thanks to a special protein in their blood. Infected ticks bite western fence lizards to get a cure from the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. (Source)
  40. Many baby lizards are self-sufficient from birth. They can walk, run and feed on their own from the beginning.
  41. Lizard’s tail contains large fat deposits. Therefore, few lizards will eat their detached tail if left by the predator. (Source)
  42. Like several other animals, lizards also replace worn-out teeth throughout their life. However, some lizard species use a unique technique for this purpose. (Source)
  43. Birds, dogs, and other large animals are the main predators of lizards. Apart from tail detachment, lizards use several other defensive mechanisms against their predators. These include appearing larger, hissing, tail whipping, spines, etc. (Source)
  44. Sunlight is necessary for lizards. It is required to increase their internal temperature, and lizards can also convert UVB rays from sunlight into Vitamin D3 in their bodies. (Source)
  45. The bluetongue skinks have tongues of blue and ultraviolet color. This lizard uses this dark-colored tongue for defensive purposes. (Source)
  46. Apart from snakes, several lizard species also flick their tongues to get information about the location of food and other environmental factors. (Source)


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