What animals have rough skin

Lizards

Characteristics

What do lizards look like?

Lizards, like turtles, armored lizards (crocodiles) and bridge lizards, belong to the class of reptiles and there to the order of scaled reptiles. This in turn is divided into lizards and snakes.

Lizards can look quite different, but they have many common features that make them distinctive.

Their elongated body has two front and two rear legs and a long tail.

The sneaks are an exception: they have no limbs, but look like snakes.

Nevertheless, they belong to the lizards, because tiny remains of their legs can still be seen on their skeleton.

The whole body of the lizards is covered by a coat of scales made up of horny skin flakes. These scales protect the animals from the sun and dehydration.

Because the dandruff cannot grow with you, all lizards have to shed their skin when they get bigger.

The old skin is thrown off and the new flaky dress appears underneath.

Depending on the species, lizards are very different in size:

The difference ranges from geckos that are only a few centimeters long to giant Komodo dragons up to three meters long.

Where do lizards live?

Lizards can be found on all continents with the exception of Antarctica.

They colonize subtropical and tropical, but also temperate regions.

Most lizard species are found in the tropics and subtropics.

Lizards are at home in a wide variety of habitats: some live in hot deserts, others in humid, tropical forests, and still others in savannahs. Some can even be found in mountains up to the snow line.

What kinds of lizards are there?

The lizards make up more than half of all reptiles: there are around 5000 different species.

They are divided into the iguana-like, the gecko-like, the skink-like, the crawling-like and the monitor-like.

The lizards that are native to us include, for example, the lizards.

How old do lizards get?

Depending on the species, lizards live very differently: some are only up to five years old, others ten, still others over 20 or 30 years. Scientists suspect that some iguana species can live to be more than 80 years old.

behavior

How do lizards live?

Like all reptiles, lizards are cold-blooded. Your body temperature depends on the temperature of the environment. If it is cold, the animals are stiff and almost immobile. If it is warm they are very quick.

This is why lizards often sit in the sun in the morning to warm up again after the cool night.

If you observe lizards, you can usually see a very typical behavior: They flicker.

Your tongue flicks out of your mouth and back again at lightning speed.

Lizards do this because they can smell their tongues and thus track down their prey or food. When they flicker, they absorb fragrances from the air and guide them to the olfactory cells in the mouth.

Friends and enemies of the lizards

Small lizards in particular have enemies such as birds of prey or small predators.

Lizards and geckos, however, have a trick to escape enemies: They shed their tails.

Because the discarded tail is still twitching and wriggling, attackers are distracted and the lizard can flee. The tail grows back again, but is no longer as long and beautiful as it was before.

Some lizards have different strategies to intimidate enemies: The frilled lizard, for example, has a large flap of skin on its neck, which it sets up in case of danger so that it stands like a collar around its neck.

The petite lizard then suddenly looks big and threatening - and attackers are put to flight.

The blue-tongue skink, on the other hand, has a bright blue-colored tongue, which it sticks out in case of danger:

The bright color scares off attackers.

How do lizards breed?

Lizards reproduce differently: some lay eggs from which the young hatch. In others, the young grow up in the eggs in the womb and hatch during or shortly after oviposition. And in some species the young develop entirely in the mother's womb and only then come into the world.

With most lizards, the parents hardly care about their offspring. The boys are independent from the start.

How do lizards hunt?

Some lizards are clever predators: chameleons kill their prey with a shot of the tongue: the deliberate animals usually lurk on a branch for prey. When an insect approaches, its long tongue leaps out at lightning speed, the prey is grabbed, pulled into its mouth and then swallowed.

This shot with the tongue is so fast that we humans can only recognize it precisely if it is recorded by a camera in slow motion.

maintenance

What do lizards eat?

The different types of lizards have a completely different diet.

Many feed exclusively on insects and spiders, others also eat plant-based foods such as leaves or fruit.

Only a few lizards are pure vegetarians.