Close up of the face of a Eurasian Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis), a common legless lizard
(photo: Valerius Geng)
Yemen Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx yemenensis)
The Uromastyx is a genus of lizard whose members are better-known as Spiny-tailed lizards, uromastyxs, mastigures, or dabb lizards. Uromastyx are primarily herbivorous, but occasionally eat insects, especially when young. They spend most of their waking hours basking in the sun, hiding in underground chambers at daytime or when danger appears. They tend to establish themselves in hilly, rocky areas with good shelter and accessible vegetation… (read more: Wikipedia)
(photo: Yousif Al-Mulla)
Ornate Spiny-Tailed Lizard (Uromastyx ornata ornata)
The generic name (Uromastyx) is derived from the Ancient Greek words ourá (οὐρά) meaning “tail” and mastigo (Μαστίχα) meaning “whip” or “scourge”, after the thick-spiked tail characteristic of all Uromastyx species… (read more: Wikipedia)
Body Evolution in Island Lizards
by Red Orbit staff
Millions of years before humans began battling it out over beachfront property, a similar phenomenon was unfolding in a diverse group of island lizards.
Often mistaken for chameleons or geckos, Anolis lizards fight fiercely for resources, responding to rivals by doing push-ups and puffing out their throat pouches. But anoles also compete in ways that shape their bodies over evolutionary time, says a new study in the journal Evolution.
Anolis lizards colonized the Caribbean from South America some 40 million years ago and quickly evolved a wide range of shapes and sizes. “When anoles first arrived in the islands there were no other lizards quite like them, so there was abundant opportunity to diversify,” said author Luke Mahler of Harvard University.
Free from rivals in their new island homes, Anolis lizards evolved differences in leg length, body size, and other characteristics as they adapted to different habitats. Today, the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico “” collectively known as the Greater Antilles “” are home to more than 100 Anolis species, ranging from lanky lizards that perch in bushes, to stocky, long-legged lizards that live on tree trunks, to foot-long ‘giants’ that roam the upper branches of trees…
(read more: Red orbit) (photo: Luke Mahler)
unidentified rear-fanged venomous (opisthoglyphous) snake devouring a Tokay Gecko (Gecko gecko)
CHINESE WATER DRAGON
Zeus by Nightcry
Chinese Water Dragons are also known as Asian Water Dragons, Thai Water Dragons, and Green Water Dragons.Chinese water dragons can grow up to 90 cm (3 ft) in length for males and up to 60 cm (2 ft) for females but 2/3 of this is tail length.
Native to the lowland and highland forests of India, Northern and southern China, and eastern and southeastern Asia. Chinese water dragons are most commonly found along the banks of freshwater lakes and streams. They are active during the day (diurnal), and spend most of their time in the trees or plants (arboreal). If threatened, the dragon will drop into the water and either swim to safety or remain submerged for up to 25 minutes. Water dragons live in areas with average humidity levels of 40–80% and temperatures ranging from 80–90 °F.
For Anon who asked about discerning male and female:
All water dragons begin looking like females
For a male watch for the following:
- His head will begin to get larger and wider and even more triangular.
- The crest on the neck will begin to get higher, and the spikes much longer
- The spikes on his back will get longer,
- You’ll notice that below the spikes there is a ridge of bone or cartilage under the skin that points upward, just as the spikes do. On an adult male these bony protrusions are approximately 1/2 inch long (1.2 cm).
- the spikes at the base of the tail will get substantially higher, almost like a secondary dorsal crest
- the femoral pores on the underside of the back legs will grow much wider, become darker and start to fill with a waxy like substance.
- As the male dragon approaches adulthood you should notice that his body is also more triangular shaped … upward triangular, and that the base of the tail is much more triangular than that of a female whose body is more rounded or pear shaped (especially in the abdominal area), and her tail should remain rounded in appearance.
If your dragon gets to be say, 5 inches snout to vent or longer, and it’s total length is 18 or more inches and you haven’t started to see some of these changes in appearance you most likely have a female dragon.
New Bling, Legless Lizard Discovered in Cambodia
by Dave Mosher
A new species of blind, legless lizard has been found in the mountains of Cambodia, conservationists announced. The 6-inch-long (15-centimeter-long) reptile, called Dibamus dalaiensis, is the first of its kind discovered in the Southeast Asian country. The animal joins more than 200 legless lizard species and about 50 other new reptiles discovered worldwide in the past decade.
“At first I thought it was a common species,” Thy said in a press release. “But looking closer, I realized it was something I didn’t recognize.”…
(read more: National Geo)
(photo: Thy Neang et al, Zootaxa/Flora & Fauna International)