Lizard Facts



  • Lizards are a group of 3,800 scaly-skinned reptiles, varying from a few centimeters long to the 3 m-long Komodo dragon.
  • Lizards cannot control their own body heat, and so rely on sunshine for warmth. This is why they live in warm climates and bask in the sun for hours each day.
  • Lizards move in many ways – running, scampering and slithering. Some can glide. Unlike mammals, their limbs stick out sideways rather than downwards.
  • Most lizards lay eggs, although a few give birth to live young. But unlike birds or mammals, a mother lizard does not nurture (look after) her young.
  • Most lizards are meat-eaters, feeding on insects and other small creatures.
  • Lizards have four legs and a long tail. In most lizards, the back legs are much stronger than the front, and are used to drive the animal forwards in a kind of writhing motion.
  • Geckos are small lizards that are mainly active at night. Their toes are covered in hairy pads, which help them to stick to rough surfaces. Some types of gecko can even walk upside down.
  • The glass lizard has no legs. Its tail may break off and lie wriggling as a decoy it it is attacked. The lizard later grows another one.
  • The Australian frilled lizard has a ruff around its neck. To put off attackers, it can spread out its ruff to make itself look three or four times bigger.
  • Horned lizards can squirt a jet of blood from their eyes almost as far as Ioil(‘ put off attackers.
  • The Komodo dragon of Sumatra is the biggest lizard, weighing up to 150 kg or more. It can catch deer and pigs and swallow them whole.
  • The Basilisk lizard is also known as the Jesus Christ lizard because it can walk on water.