With more than 5,000 species, lizards are one of the most diverse reptiles to exist on Earth in terms of body shape and size. Some species of lizards, like small geckos, can reach lengths averaging around 2 centimeters, while larger species, namely monitors, can reach 10 feet or more!
Certain species of lizards are also equipped with special features that set them apart. The frilled lizard is named for the large area of skin around its neck, which, when threatened, opens to scare away predators.
Lizards are not only interesting in the way they look, but how they move. Lizards use undulatory locomotion to get around from place to place, which means they use their entire body in a wave-like motion to take steps forward and backward, and to climb trees and rocks. The green basilisk lizard can sprint 5 feet per second when running from a predator, and some lizards can run on their hind legs when threatened!
Lizards are one of the few reptiles that have different methods of giving birth depending on the species. Many lizards lay eggs, while others give birth to live young.
In honor or World Lizard Day, learn more about the spiny-tailed monitor, one of the reptiles in our Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit!