Lizards constitute the largest group of living reptiles with over 4000 species in our world today; each species has its own distinct shape and size and can be found all around the world. Most lizards have a dry and scaly skin with a long tail, four legs and clawed feet.
They have a weak tail or a small bump/tug that would naturally break off when threatened; this is a rather unusual way of confusing the enemy so it could get away when being hunted. Their tails also help in balance and movement which as well serves as a good fat storage. Losing the tail can be a big problem but almost every lizard can grow a new tail.
They have jaws with teeth sitting on the roof of their mouth and eat various kinds of food; some eat spiders, bugs, plants and even other lizards. Lizards are prey to quite a number of animals which includes birds, snakes and even other lizard species. Lizards are most active on sunny days but if it gets too warm they find a shed. Some lizards lay eggs which they lay in a nest while others give a birth to live babies – a lizard mother doesn’t care for its young.
The largest lizard in the world is the Komodo monitor lizard and it can grow longer in length than a human, while the smallest lizard is the tiny gecko.
Lizards as Pets
Lizards can be very exciting pets, but it can be tough choosing your best companion. Many of the most commonly known species, like iguanas, are not a very good choice for most pet owners. Choosing the right lizard is very important for the owner and also the lizard itself.
The most popular lizard species best as pets today are:
- Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius): These small lizards, even when fully grown, can fit in your hand. They are one of the most popular lizard pets. They tolerate handling and even when provoked, rarely bite. One leopard gecko can fit within a 10 to 20-gallon glass aquarium.
- Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps): Bearded dragons are medium-sized lizards that are handy and not complicated to care for. They tolerate daily handing, and do not display aggression towards people. Bearded dragons grow between be 13 to 24 inches. The right habitat for them should be similar to that of the leopard geckos. The temperature should range from 70°F to a hot spot of 100°F and should be misted with water daily.
- Green Iguana (Iguana iguana rhinolopha): The iguana is said to be the most sought after of the various lizards in the pet trade today. They can measure up to 7 feet in length and weigh up to 20 pounds. A 20-gallon-long aquarium will suffice as caging for baby and young green iguanas up to about 18 inches long. Additionally, mature male green iguanas have larger spikes going down their backs and large femoral pores. If kept properly, green iguanas can live to within 15 and 20 years.