live all over the world and are the largest group of reptiles. There
are about 3000 different kinds of them. Most of them live in warm, tropical
places. Not many of them live in cold climates. Lizards are
related to snakes. Some of them look like snakes with legs.
Lizards usually have four legs, with five toes on each
foot. Their skin is dry and scaly. They have moveable eyelids
and their ears are on the sides of their head. They can run very
fast. Most lizards can swim.
They live in places that are warm for at least part of
the year. They are cold-blooded
which means that their body temperature stays at about the same
temperature as the air around them. Even when lizards live in
tropical places, nights can be too cold for them.
What lizards eat depends on the kind of lizard it
is. Most are carnivorous
but some [like the iguana] only eat plants. When they are in danger
from an enemy, they will stand still until the danger comes nearer.
Then they will burrow into the dirt to escape.
In the fall, lizards in colder climates eat a lot of
food like regular hibernators. They go into their underground burrows
and sleep until it warms up again. They will come out of hibernation
in February or March. In July or August they have six or seven
Lizards can go into estivation,
too. Since they are cold-blooded, if they live in a desert their
body temperatures can go high enough to cook them. They adapt to
this kind of climate by estivating through the hottest part of summer.
Lizards aren't very good parents. The female lays
the eggs and then leaves them to hatch by themselves. In colder
climates, the eggs hatch inside the female. Some lizards give birth
to living babies.
Back to Hibernation