It was International Lizards Day
There are more than 4,650 species of lizards on the globe: the smallest is the size of a dime, the largest, the Komodo dragon, is nearly 3 meters long. One of a kind, colorful, they look like small dinosaurs and fascinate with their very specific adaptations.
As we celebrated International Lizard Day (August 14) this week, here are some of the most peculiar specimens that belong to this group of reptiles!
Its eyes, mounted on cones, move independently of each other and allow the animal to detect movement over almost 360 degrees. Master of camouflage, it can change color thanks to specialized dermal cells, depending on its mood. When an insect is in sight, the chameleon projects its sticky tongue, as long as its body, at a speed of 20 km/h. Its pincer-shaped legs ensure a firm hold on branches.
BLUE TONG SKINK
Dvoted to the art of intimidation, this cylindrical lizard relies on bluffing to ward off its predators. When a threatening situation approaches, it swells its body, opens its candy pink mouth and shows off its big cobalt blue tongue. Equipped with short legs, it often chooses to undulate like a snake if it has to flee a situation.
Geckos are found on every continent except the Arctic. Their tail serves both as a fat reserve and as an escape tool: these lizards can practice autotomy, i.e. they can voluntarily separate from their tail if caught by a predator. The most incredible thing is that it then grows back! The majority of geckos are just as comfortable climbing on smooth window glass as they are on the ground. Even better; they can run on the ceiling, at 1 meter per second, without adhesive! The secret lies in the anatomy of their fingers, which are equipped with millions of tiny hairs that create an attractive force between them and the surface!
THE GREEN BASIL
Also called the “Jesus Christ lizard,” this reptile has the amazing ability to run on water…literally! Raised on its hind legs, the animal creates an air pocket by hitting the water with each stride, on which it propels the next stride. It can thus flee at nearly 10 km/h, under the dumbfounded eye of the predator!
Psst! All these species are presented at the Zoo de Granby! Come see them on your next visiT!