posts tagged "lizards"
The Mediterranean Chameleon is the only species of these appealing lizards to live in the wild in Europe. They are restricted to the extreme south of the mainland and are most common on islands such as Malta, Crete and Sicily.
The lizard is found in dry habitats and is generally seen climbing slowly through bushes. As it moves, the chameleon’s eyes scan its surroundings; each eye can move independently. If the chameleon spots danger, it inflates its body and turns dark. As well as looking out for danger, the chameleon is looking out for insects. Once it spots a suitable victim it unleashes its long tongue, which is almost as long as the lizards body and has a sticky tip that clings to prey.
Mediterranean Chameleons put alot of energy into reproduction. The males defend a territory and each female mates with several before climbing to the ground. They dig a trench and lay 30 eggs in it; the eggs might make up half of the females weight. About a third of females die from exhaustion after their first breeding season.
Habitat: Bushes in dry habitats
Life Span: 3 Years
Breeding: 30 eggs buried in soil. Hatch after 2 - 3 months
Throughout the range of the Panther Chameleon, males and females vary in colour. There are at least 25 different forms, with each one occuring in a different region. Males from north-west Madagascar are bright turquoise and green, with red and gold colours radiating from their eyes and heads. Another type of male from a different region has up to six different body colours with white streaks around its eyes. Breeding females become brighter too, developing black and red-orange colouring. Their black markings vary in pattern. The Panther Chameleon is able to change colour very quickly when it moves into different vegetation - as camouflage- or when being approached by other chameleons - as communication. They can be very aggressive with one another, and changing colour can warn other individuals to keep away.
Habitat: Lowland coastal areas
Food: Small Insects
Life Span: Unknown
Breeding: 4-6 clutches of 12-30 eggs are laid per year
The Flying Gecko is another species of reptile, along with the flying snake and flying lizard, that has taken to gliding around the forests of South-east Asia by using flaps of skin as airfoils. However, unlike the other “flying” reptiles, the Flying Gecko doesn’t use flaps of skin stretched over elongated ribs, but instead it has flaps which grow between its long toes, in the same manner as flying frogs. These flaps of skin give the gecko a very fat handed appearance, and this has given rise to its alternative name, the Thick Fingered Gecko.
Flying Geckos are exceptionally well camouflaged. They closely resemble the bark patterns on the trees upon which they rest motionless, with their heads facing downward for hours on end, waiting for their insect prey to come close enough to grab. They even have lighter patches on their skins, which look like the patches of lichen growing on the tree trunks.
Habitat: Tropical forests
Life Span: 3 Years
Breeding: 5-6 Clutches of 2 or 3 eggs laid throughout the summer