Lizards are some of the most fascinating reptiles on the planet, renowned for their lovely patterns, great intelligence, and vast variety.
So, do you know anything about these amazing creatures?
We’ve compiled this full guide to all the types of lizards to help you learn more about these amazing animals, whether you’re a newcomer to the world of lizards or a dedicated herpetologist.
Next, we’ll show you the world’s most amazing lizards. Next, we’ll give you an overview of how lizards are classified. To finish things off, we’ll share some exciting facts with you so that your buddies will be impressed with your new lizard knowledge.
Thorny Dragon (Moloch horridus)
The thorny dragon, sometimes known as the mountain devil or the thistle dragon, is a big lizard that can be found across central and western Australia. It’s a sluggish lizard that wanders the Outback eating ants, and its spiky scales and fearsome moniker are well-known.
Given the heat of the Australian Outback, these funky lizards are active during the day, which is quite remarkable. They have a strange metabolism that allows them to absorb moisture via their skin, which enables them to live in their extremely dry habitat.
In the wild, even the thorny dragon can live up to 20 years old. They are actually well-protected from predators, but due to their limited diet of ants, they are particularly vulnerable to habitat destruction.
Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum)
The Gila River Basin is home to the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum), which can be found in the United States. Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico are all states in the United States. Sonora and Sinaloa are Mexican states.
It has beadlike scales and grows to approximately 50 centimeters (approximately 20 inches) in height. In the United States, they are the most common lizards.
Gila monsters feed on small mammals, birds, and eggs during warm weather at night. At this time of year, fat stored in the tail and belly is used.
When venom seeps into the wound, the Gila monster’s huge head and muscular jaws provide a powerful bite. A nerve poison, venom, is carried from glands in the lower jaw by several teeth with two grooves.
Humans are rare targets for Gila monster bites, and the last known fatality from a Gila monster bite was in 1939.
The bearded dragon, which is endemic to Australia, is also known as “beardies.” Being a pro at adjusting to high temperatures and moisture variations, this lizard makes it an ideal starting herp for beginners.
Bearded dragons are usually calm and nice. Beardies, like mealworms, collard greens, and dandelion greens, are omnivores that enjoy eating both plant and animal items.
Guatemalan Beaded Lizard
Just one location in eastern Guatemala is home to the Guatemalan beaded lizard (Heloderma charlesbogerti): a patch of desert. It is closely linked to the well-known Gila monster, having been discovered in the 1980s.
Beaded lizards use venom to protect themselves and anesthetize prey, and their scales are covered with little shards of bone that resemble beads or studs. With only about 200 lizards remaining in the wild, these lizards are designated as critically endangered.
Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)
The legendary Komodo dragon is the world’s largest lizard, and you don’t want to mess with it. The Komodo dragon is a notable exception, despite the fact that most scary-looking lizards won’t hurt you and don’t want anything to do with humans.
In reality, one of the few lizards in the world with a venomous bite is these massive lizards, which can weigh up to 154 pounds (70 kilograms) and grow up to 10.3 feet (3.1 meters). They may also travel at speeds of up to 13 mph (20 km/h), making them extremely frightening.
The good news is that… They just exist on a few Indonesian islands. Due to habitat destruction and human encroachment, they are considered endangered.
Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina and Macrochelys temminckii)
Snapping turtles, sometimes known as big freshwater turtles (family Chelydridae), have a biting technique that distinguishes them from other turtle species. From Mexico and Central America to Ecuador, snapping turtles can be found across North America east of the Rocky Mountains.
They feature a rough upper shell, a short cross-shaped lower shell, a long tail, and a huge head with hooked teeth. They are tan to black in color.
In shallow water, the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine) is frequently found buried in mud. While it prefers animal prey, it is omnivorous. While in water, it is usually docile; however, on land, it may lunge and snap.
The biggest freshwater turtle in the United States is the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys (or occasionally Macroclemys) temminckii. It is a sedentary turtle with three prominent longitudinal ridges on the upper shell that can be found in the southern and central regions.
They may grow to a shell length of around 40–70 cm (16–28 inches), and they may weigh between 18 and 70 kg (40 and 155 pounds). They have been known to weigh up to 100 kg!
A wormlike appendage on the floor of an alligator snapping turtle’s mouth is its distinguishing feature. It generally quietly rests on the bottom, its mouth open, and uses this mechanism to attract prey near.
Plants are also eaten by it. In Europe and North America, Miocene layers have yielded fossil snapping turtles.
Jackson’s Chameleon (Trioceros jacksonii)
The Jackson’s chameleon, native to East Africa’s woods but now found in California, Hawaii, and Florida, is one of the most well-known chameleons in the world.
The Jackson’s chameleon looks like a Triceratops dinosaur because of its three horns, which are unusual in animals with horns. It generally has a vivid green color, although it might change due to environmental temperature and disposition.
These chameleons are mostly insectivores, although they have been known to consume small birds and even other lizards. The Jackson’s chameleon, on the other hand, has caused a host of issues in areas where they have been introduced.
Fiji Crested Iguana
During the filming of the 1980s film Blue Lagoon, a Fiji crested iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis) was discovered.
With brilliant green skin, white patterns, and a massive crest, it’s an extremely lovely lizard. Because of global warming, this iguana is now considered endangered. It formerly existed on 14 Fijian islands, but today it is only found on the island of Yadua Taba, which is protected.
Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus)
We promise that the leaf-tailed gecko isn’t as frightening as its name suggests.
These geckos prefer to live in the rainforest of eastern Madagascar. Nevertheless, it isn’t particularly frightening in real life, measuring just 2.5 inches (6.4 cm).
With a brownish coloration and a tail that resembles a leaf (thus the name), these creatures have an quite unusual look.
The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is native to the environment and isn’t considered endangered, which is excellent news for it as a species. That being said, it is a popular pet because of its complex needs, but only expert reptile caregivers should consider owning it.
Mexican beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum)
The Mexican beaded lizard (H. neomexicanus) is a closely related species. The Gila monster is somewhat bigger (to 80 cm [32 inches]) and darker than the horrible, but otherwise identical in look.
From the boundary between the states of Sinaloa and Sonora to Mexico’s boundary with Guatemala, this species may be found across much of the Pacific coast.
The Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard have similar habits. It bites its foes by locking its jaws on their prey while its grooved teeth funnel nerve poison into the wound of their victim, relying on stored fats to survive the winter. This species’ bite is painful, but no human deaths have been linked to it thus far.
Several Mexican beaded lizards are marketed to pet retailers in the United States, Europe, and Japan, as part of the prohibited worldwide trade in pets.
The little crowned gecko, native to New Caledonia, has made its way to us. They like being handled, especially being able to roam around on your hand or arm.
They’re submissive and tractable, which makes them perfect pets. For a household with older children, this kind of gecko would be an ideal family pet.
A commercial gecko diet, feeder insects (such as crickets and Reptile Munchies Mealworms), and an occasional treat of freshly chopped tropical fruits are all appropriate foods for crested geckos.
Psychedelic Rock Gecko
The psychedelic rock gecko (Cnemaspis psychedelica) quickly grew in popularity among the pet trade and illegal animal trafficking once it was discovered by scientists barely a decade ago.
Its appeal is hardly a surprise; it has a yellow back, orange belly, and golden foot that are undoubtedly distinctive.
It only grows on two little Vietnamese islands, Hon Khoai and Hon Tuong, and it has suffered from habitat destruction and predation in addition to being collected by enthusiasts.
Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko)
The tokay gecko, one of the world’s largest geckos, grows to be about 16 inches (40 cm) long in its natural habitat in southern and eastern Asia.
While the black-spotted variety is more common in Vietnam and mainland China, Tokay geckos might have either red- or black-spotted colors.
The communication system of these geckos is particularly vocal. During the breeding season, you may hear them calling out to prospective mates, despite the fact that they’re usually alone.
You’ll be difficult to locate the tokay gecko in the wild since it is nocturnal. Consider yourself lucky if you get the opportunity to see one in the wild. With their strong grip force, which may support up to 450 pounds (204 kg), you may probably observe them cling onto a tree or rock.
The Iguanas (subfamily Iguaninae)
The common, or green, iguana (Iguana iguana), which can be found from Mexico to Brazil, is the most well-known species of iguana. Males of this species may grow to be over 2 meters (6.6 feet) long and weigh 6 kg (13.2 pounds).
It is frequently found sunbathing on the limbs of trees that overhang water, from which it will leaped if approached. Females are grayish green and about half the weight of males, while the common iguana is green with dark bands that form rings on its tail.
The West Indian iguana (Cyclura) and the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus) of the southwestern United States and Mexico are two other genera to consider. The marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus) and the terrestrial Conolophus are two genera that live on the Galapagos Islands.
The pink iguana (C. iguana) belongs to the latter genus. On Isabela (Albemarle) Island, Soledad lives on the slopes of Wolf Volcano.
Iguanas are popular reptile pets because they have withered venom glands that generate a weak, harmless venom. Iguanas, on the other hand, have a large number of serrated teeth. Bites may cause severe damage to faces, fingers, wrists, and ankles, despite the rarity of such attacks.
Standing on all fours, drawing in a deep breath to make the body appear larger, and the lowering of an iguana’s dewlap (the skin flap beneath its chin) are some of the warning signs that an impending strike is imminent. Nevertheless, certain iguanas have been known to attack without notice.
Brown and green anoles may be found in the southern states of Georgia and South Carolina, among other places.
These lizards are quick, making them fascinating to watch but difficult to hold or children. They are not aggressive, though. They’re best suited for a patient, alert youngster or adult because they’re so quick. Insects and spiders, including little crickets, are consumed by anoles.
In the Kimberley area of Western Australia, the Hidden Dragon lizard (Cryptagama aurita) stays well hidden.
This lizard was not discovered until 1979 because it looks exactly like a rock. Scientists are still trying to comprehend enough about the Secret Dragon’s habitat to preserve it.
Argentine Black and White Tegu (Salvator merianae)
The Argentine black and white tegu, a big lizard that may grow to be 4 feet (1.2 meters) long, is found in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and portions of Brazil.
Because of its unique black and white stripes along its tail, it’s simple to spot. Young tegus, on the other hand, have a green head that fades with age.
Tegus feed on fruits, vegetables, and animal eggs in their natural environment. Little lizards and even rats are also known to be devoured by them.
Although the tegu is native to South America, it was imported to Florida as a result of escapes from domestic pets, according to experts.
As an invasive species in Florida, the tegu has proven to be quite problematic. It’s been spotted in the Florida Everglades, where it can prey on the young of endangered species like sea turtles, birds, and crocodiles and seriously harm their habitat!
Tree crocodile, or Crocodile monitor (Varanus salvadorii)
On the island of New Guinea, crocodile monitors may be found. The majority of them prefer to dwell in lowland areas near the shore, although a few have been documented living as high as 650 meters (2,100 feet) in height.
Black is the most common color, but green, yellow, and white specks may be seen. Crocodile monitors may weigh up to 90 kg (200 pounds).
The Komodo dragon (V.) is a real animal. Crocodile monitors grow larger in size as they mature, with the snout to tail measuring between 5 and 16 meters (about 16 and 46 feet).
The meat and skin of crocodile monitors are used to make clothing and drumheads, which are hunted for sport.
Most harvesting results from capturing crocodile monitors in traps meant for other animals because they are known for being very aggressive, making it dangerous to hunt them.
Skink (Blue Tongue)
The blue-tongue skink may be found in Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia’s woodlands and fields as a wild animal.
Skinks are seen as juveniles to be nervous and cautious around people. With repeated gentle interactions, such as allowing them to walk on your hands, they will become docile adult pets. Omnivores include blue-tongue skinks. Chopped carrots, mustard greens, dandelion greens, crickets, mealworms, and waxworms are among the foods they like in captivity.
Culebra Island Giant Anole
In 1931, on Culebra Island in the Caribbean, the Culebra island giant anole (Anolis rooseveltii) was found, and more individuals were obtained in Vieques, Tortola Island (British Virgin Islands).
Virgin Islands (United States) John It was thought to eat fruit, insects, and other small lizards, as are other anoles. But, since 1932, no further sightings have been reported.