Lizards are reptiles. There are over 4,675 species of lizard, Included in this large number are lizards with four legs, some with two legs and some with no legs at all, lizards with frills, horns or wings and lizards in nearly every color imaginable. Lizards generally have small heads, long bodies and long tails. With so many species of lizard, it’s understandable that they come in a wide variety of sizes. The largest lizard is the Komodo dragon. It grows up to 10 feet (3 meters) long and weighs up to 176 lbs. (80 kilograms). The smallest lizard is the tiny dwarf gecko, which grows to 0.6 inches (1.6 centimeters) long and weighs .0042 ounces (120 milligrams). A lizard’s scaly skin does not grow as the animal ages. Most lizards shed their skin, or molt, in large flakes. Lizards also have the ability to break off part of their tails when a predator grabs it.
Habits and Habitat
Most lizards are active during the day. Lizards are cold-blooded animals, which means they rely on their environment to help warm their bodies. They use the heat of the sun to raise their body temperatures and are active when their bodies are warm. Other than mating times, most lizards are not social, though. There are some exceptions. For example, the desert night lizard lives in family groups. Many lizards are carnivores, which means they eat meat. A typical diet for a lizard includes ants, spiders, termites, cicadas, small mammals and even other lizards. Caiman lizards eat animals with shells, such as snails. Other lizards are omnivores, which means they eat vegetation and meat. One example of an omnivore lizard is Clark’s spiny lizard. These lizards like fruits, leaves and vegetables. Some lizards are herbivores and only eat plants. The marine iguana, which lives in the Galapagos Islands, eats algae from the sea. Iguanas and spiny-tailed agamids also eat plants. Lizards are found all over the world in almost every type of terrain. Some live in trees, others prefer to live in vegetation on the ground, while others live in deserts among rocks.