This page is to help you learn about lizards and their diets, habitats, and behavior. Did you know that there are leg-less lizards including the wonderful worm lizard? This lizard looks like a worm but also eats them for breakfast.
Lizards are closely related to snakes (the worm lizard has no legs, so it looks like either a snake or a huge worm). Lizards, like snakes, aren't slimy.
Lizards range from as far north as the Arctic Circle in Eurasia (Eurasia is the name for Europe and Asia combined) and as far south as southern Chile in South America. Lizards live on every continent except for Antarctica. Some lizards live in elevations as high as 4,500 m (15,000 ft) in the Himalayas, the Andes Mountains, and among the volcanoes of Mexico.
Lizards are cold-blooded so they rely on a heat source outside of their body to regulate their body temperature. Lizards control their body temperature by lying in the sun, seeking out shade, and other activities that help control their body temperature. A lizards temperature may be as high as 15 to 20 C degrees (35 to 55 degrees) above that of the surrounding area.
The komodo dragon is a lizard that can grow to over 3 m (10 ft) long and weigh up to 136 lbs (300 ft). They live only near Indonesia, like Komodo Island, for which they are named. They eat animals such as small deer and bush pigs.
The gecko has extensive webbing on its feet for walking over fine sand. They are nocturnal (they only come out at night), and eat insects. There are lots of different kinds of geckos. The common length is about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) long. The tokay gecko can grow to 35.5 cm (14 in) long while the dwarf geckos barely grow larger then 2.5 cm (1 in) long.
Chameleons can change their color to the color of anything it touches! This makes a great camouflage. Chameleons also have long tongues to catch flies and other insects.
Horned lizards can squirt blood out of their eye to scare off predators. The blood can squirt as far as 1 m (3 ft). They are normally about 130 mm (5 in) long. They live from southwestern Canada to Guatemala.
Lizards shed their skin, but, unlike most snakes, lizards shed their skin in patches. Lots of lizards can break off their tails as a defense. The predator will stare at the tail, which violently thrashes. The tail will grow back after a while.
The Australian frilled lizard will open its huge neck frill when attacked, making it seem larger than it really is. The Lizards skin is dry and scaly.
Some lizards can run on their hind legs. The racerunners have been clocked at the speed of about 29 km/h (18 mph). The six-lined racerunner can grow to 8.6 cm (3 3/8 in) long with an 18-cm (7-in) tail and normally has 6 stripes. The six-lined racerunner is found mostly in dry, open areas in the southern and central United States.
One lizard, a basilisk called the Jesus Christ lizard, can run on top of water! In Greek and Roman mythology the basilisks glance killed whatever it encountered. We know that this is false because people that study reptiles have looked at basilisks and lived.
Even though lizards cant fly, the flying dragons of Southeastern Asia have sheets of skin attached to their ribs and are able to glide.
The marine iguana of the Galapagos Islands enters the ocean freely to feed on algae and may swim to as far as 15 to 20 m (50 to 65 ft) underwater. One lizard, the European slow worm, lived to be 54 years old in captivity.
The worm lizard has no legs and looks like a huge earthworm. There are different kinds of worm lizards that live in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. The only worm lizard in the United States is the Florida worm lizard. The Florida worm lizard is about25 cm (10 in) long.
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This page lasted edited on 03/31/98