Lizards belong to the large reptile family and owe their name to the Greek sauros (Lizard), the Saurians’ suborder.
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There are about twenty lizard families in the world. Lizards have their origins in the primitive reptiles observed at the beginning of the Permian era, 340 million years ago.
The first lizard fossils were dated back about 65 million years ago. Lizards exist on almost every continent of the planet, except in the polar regions. Lizards are mainly found in 3 well-defined areas: desert, semi-desert, and tropical areas.
Each lizard has its physical characteristics. The Australian Blue Dragon is quite massive, medium-sized, and has large claws.
The Uromastyx is one of the smallest lizards of the genus, measuring at most about forty centimeters.
It has a stocky body and owes its name to its slightly pointed tail. Even smaller is the Leopard Gecko, which rarely exceeds 25 cm. Its coat is reminiscent of the Leopard (yellow with black patches), hence its name.
The Collared Lizard is particularly lively and slightly larger than the Leopard Gecko (about 30 cm). Although it looks like an iguana, it is not an iguana since it belongs to the Crotaphytidae family.
The largest of all here is the Blue-tongued Skink, which can be up to 70 cm long. The body is covered with length scales, and it has the peculiarity of having a blue tongue, hence its name.
Most lizards are carnivorous and feed on small invertebrates, mainly insects: spiders, caterpillars, locusts, butterflies, earthworms, etc.
Some species also eat plants or fruits, while other more giant lizards devour small reptiles and mammals. A minority of species are herbivorous.
In most cases, mating is preceded by confrontations between the males. The female’s relationship with the eggs she has laid depends on the lizard species.
She usually abandons her eggs after they are laid. In some species, she stays near the eggs. The eggs are incubated in the female’s body in other lizards until the young are fully developed.
Except for the Komodo dragon, which has exceptional longevity of up to 50 years, most lizards live up to 10 years.