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  • Lizards: Order Squamata, Suborder Sauria

    • Includes: geckos, iguanas, skinks (some are completely limbless), monitors, chameleons

    • Number of Species: over 5,350

    • Range: Lizards live mostly in hot and arid regions (including deserts) of the world

    • Habitat: marine, freshwater, terrestrial, arboreal

    • Characteristics

      • All lizards are capable of swimming.

      • Most of them have moveable eyelids.

      • Many lizards use fat stores in their tail to survive when food is not available (especially the well-known Gila monster).

      • Some species’ tails have fracture points to allow easier separation from the rest of the body. This is called caudal autotomy. Most of these lizards have the ability to regenerate their tails, although it is shorter and lacks bone.

    • Behavior

      • Most lizards actively search for food and are not ambush predators like most snakes.

    • Senses

      • The majority of lizards have keen vision for daylight and can see color except some nocturnal geckos that cannot see color.

      • Most of them have external ear openings and can hear, but hearing does not play an important role in lives of most lizards. Geckos are the exception as they can be very vocal animals.

    • Reproduction

      • Most lizards lay eggs (oviparous), and some have live birth (ovoviviparous).

      • Some species are parthenogenetic which means that they can have offspring when only females are available in a population.

    • Unique Threats

      • Exploitation for meat and skins

    • Fun facts:

      • This suborder includes amphisbaenians (highly modified lizards). Most lack any trace of limbs and external ear openings. They are built for tunneling in the soil and live in South America and tropical Africa, including one species in the United States.

      • Some lizards have been seen eating their own tails after detachment takes place. This makes sense as they use their tales to store fat for times when food is unavailable.

    • Information/ Care Sheets

      • Solomon Island Skink

      • Crested Gecko

      • Rock Iguana

      • Argentine Tegu

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

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