Lizards are popular prey for many types of predators, from birds to snakes and carnivorous mammals. Their camouflage and ability to stay still for hours helps keep them safe. Several types of lizards are able to escape from an enemy’s grasp by breaking off part of their own tail. The tail has a weak spot just for this purpose. If a predator grabs the lizard by its tail, the tail easily comes off. It can grow back over time, although the tail won’t look quite the same.
Other lizards have different ways to stay safe. Horned lizards are able to squirt blood from tiny blood vessels in their eyes to scare away or confuse a predator. The armadillo lizard has sharp, spiky scales and can roll up into a tight ball to protect its soft belly from attack. The sungazer lizard has impressive spikes that cover its body, including the tail. The alligator lizard bites, thrashes about to get loose, or voids foul-smelling feces. The tropical girdled lizard darts into a crack, expands its body, and lodges itself in so tightly that a predator can’t remove it.
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Factoid of the Week:
There are approximately 5,000 lizard species, including iguanas, chameleons, geckos, Gila monsters, monitors, and skinks.
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Words of Wisdom:
Precisely the least, the softest, lightest, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a flash, a moment – a little makes the way of the best happiness. -Friedrich Nietzsche