Lizard Land — Part 2 of 2

Jet Eliot

Green Iguana, Belize, native

Last week in Part 1 of this series we looked at lizards’ antipredator adaptations, camouflage, and size. Today we look at their skin, and various ways they move, sense, and communicate.

For starters, they are gloriously prehistoric. When you watch a lizard, especially the way it moves, it’s almost as if you are watching a dinosaur. The evolution of reptiles dates back 310-320 million years; more info here. 

Marine Iguana, Galapagos Islands

Blue-tongued Lizard pair, entwined, Sydney, Australia

Spiny-tailed Lizard, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Skin. Lizard skin is covered with overlapping scales made of keratin, providing protection from the environment. Scales also help prevent water loss, especially important in hot, dry deserts.

This photo shows the textured scales.

Western Fence Lizard, California

Tough and leathery, lizard skin is shed as the animal grows; they usually eat it for the minerals.

Locomotion.  Lizards live on the ground, in…

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