Lizard

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For other uses, see Lizard (disambiguation). Lizard_sentence_0

"Tokage" redirects here. Lizard_sentence_1

For Typhoon, see Typhoon Tokage. Lizard_sentence_2

Lizard_table_infobox_0

LizardsTemporal range: Early JurassicHolocene, 199–0 Ma

PreꞒ O S D C P T J K Pg N



Possible Late Triassic recordLizard_header_cell_0_0_0
Scientific classificationSquamataLizard_header_cell_0_1_0
Kingdom:Lizard_cell_0_2_0 AnimaliaLizard_cell_0_2_1
Phylum:Lizard_cell_0_3_0 ChordataLizard_cell_0_3_1
Class:Lizard_cell_0_4_0 ReptiliaLizard_cell_0_4_1
Superorder:Lizard_cell_0_5_0 LepidosauriaLizard_cell_0_5_1
Order:Lizard_cell_0_6_0 SquamataLizard_cell_0_6_1
Groups includedLizard_header_cell_0_7_0
Legless squamates that are not considered lizardsLizard_header_cell_0_8_0
SynonymsLizard_header_cell_0_9_0

Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with over 6,000 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica, as well as most oceanic island chains. Lizard_sentence_3

The group is paraphyletic as it excludes the snakes and Amphisbaenia; some lizards are more closely related to these two excluded groups than they are to other lizards. Lizard_sentence_4

Lizards range in size from chameleons and geckos a few centimeters long to the 3 meter long Komodo dragon. Lizard_sentence_5

Most lizards are quadrupedal, running with a strong side-to-side motion. Lizard_sentence_6

Others are legless, and have long snake-like bodies. Lizard_sentence_7

Some such as the forest-dwelling Draco lizards are able to glide. Lizard_sentence_8

They are often territorial, the males fighting off other males and signalling, often with brightly colours, to attract mates and to intimidate rivals. Lizard_sentence_9

Lizards are mainly carnivorous, often being sit-and-wait predators; many smaller species eat insects, while the Komodo eats mammals as big as water buffalo. Lizard_sentence_10

Lizards make use of a variety of antipredator adaptations, including venom, camouflage, reflex bleeding, and the ability to sacrifice and regrow their tails. Lizard_sentence_11

Anatomy Lizard_section_0

Largest and smallest Lizard_section_1

The adult length of species within the suborder ranges from a few centimeters for chameleons such as Brookesia micra and geckos such as Sphaerodactylus ariasae to nearly 3 m (10 ft) in the case of the largest living varanid lizard, the Komodo dragon. Lizard_sentence_12

Most lizards are fairly small animals. Lizard_sentence_13

Distinguishing features Lizard_section_2

Lizards typically have rounded torsos, elevated heads on short necks, four limbs and long tails, although some are legless. Lizard_sentence_14

Lizards and snakes share a movable quadrate bone, distinguishing them from the rhynchocephalians, which have more rigid diapsid skulls. Lizard_sentence_15

Some lizards such as chameleons have prehensile tails, assisting them in climbing among vegetation. Lizard_sentence_16

As in other reptiles, the skin of lizards is covered in overlapping scales made of keratin. Lizard_sentence_17

This provides protection from the environment and reduces water loss through evaporation. Lizard_sentence_18

This adaptation enables lizards to thrive in some of the driest deserts on earth. Lizard_sentence_19

The skin is tough and leathery, and is shed (sloughed) as the animal grows. Lizard_sentence_20

Unlike snakes which shed the skin in a single piece, lizards slough their skin in several pieces. Lizard_sentence_21

The scales may be modified into spines for display or protection, and some species have bone osteoderms underneath the scales. Lizard_sentence_22

The dentitions of lizards reflect their wide range of diets, including carnivorous, insectivorous, omnivorous, herbivorous, nectivorous, and molluscivorous. Lizard_sentence_23

Species typically have uniform teeth suited to their diet, but several species have variable teeth, such as cutting teeth in the front of the jaws and crushing teeth in the rear. Lizard_sentence_24

Most species are pleurodont, though agamids and chameleons are acrodont. Lizard_sentence_25

The tongue can be extended outside the mouth, and is often long. Lizard_sentence_26

In the beaded lizards, whiptails and monitor lizards, the tongue is forked and used mainly or exclusively to sense the environment, continually flicking out to sample the environment, and back to transfer molecules to the vomeronasal organ responsible for chemosensation, analogous to but different from smell or taste. Lizard_sentence_27

In geckos, the tongue is used to lick the eyes clean: they have no eyelids. Lizard_sentence_28

Chameleons have very long sticky tongues which can be extended rapidly to catch their insect prey. Lizard_sentence_29

Three lineages, the geckos, anoles, and chameleons, have modified the scales under their toes to form adhesive pads, highly prominent in the first two groups. Lizard_sentence_30

The pads are composed of millions of tiny setae (hair-like structures) which fit closely to the substrate to adhere using van der Waals forces; no liquid adhesive is needed. Lizard_sentence_31

In addition, the toes of chameleons are divided into two opposed groups on each foot (zygodactyly), enabling them to perch on branches as birds do. Lizard_sentence_32

Physiology Lizard_section_3

Locomotion Lizard_section_4

Aside from legless lizards, most lizards are quadrupedal and move using gaits with alternating movement of the right and left limbs with substantial body bending. Lizard_sentence_33

This body bending prevents significant respiration during movement, limiting their endurance, in a mechanism called Carrier's constraint. Lizard_sentence_34

Several species can run bipedally, and a few can prop themselves up on their hindlimbs and tail while stationary. Lizard_sentence_35

Several small species such as those in the genus Draco can glide: some can attain a distance of 60 metres (200 feet), losing 10 metres (33 feet) in height. Lizard_sentence_36

Some species, like geckos and chameleons, adhere to vertical surfaces including glass and ceilings. Lizard_sentence_37

Some species, like the common basilisk, can run across water. Lizard_sentence_38

Senses Lizard_section_5

Further information: Sense Lizard_sentence_39

Lizards make use of their senses of sight, touch, olfaction and hearing like other vertebrates. Lizard_sentence_40

The balance of these varies with the habitat of different species; for instance, skinks that live largely covered by loose soil rely heavily on olfaction and touch, while geckos depend largely on acute vision for their ability to hunt and to evaluate the distance to their prey before striking. Lizard_sentence_41

Monitor lizards have acute vision, hearing, and olfactory senses. Lizard_sentence_42

Some lizards make unusual use of their sense organs: chameleons can steer their eyes in different directions, sometimes providing non-overlapping fields of view, such as forwards and backwards at once. Lizard_sentence_43

Lizards lack external ears, having instead a circular opening in which the tympanic membrane (eardrum) can be seen. Lizard_sentence_44

Many species rely on hearing for early warning of predators, and flee at the slightest sound. Lizard_sentence_45

As in snakes and many mammals, all lizards have a specialised olfactory system, the vomeronasal organ, used to detect pheromones. Lizard_sentence_46

Monitor lizards transfer scent from the tip of their tongue to the organ; the tongue is used only for this information-gathering purpose, and is not involved in manipulating food. Lizard_sentence_47

Some lizards, particularly iguanas, have retained a photosensory organ on the top of their heads called the parietal eye, a basal ("primitive") feature also present in the tuatara. Lizard_sentence_48

This "eye" has only a rudimentary retina and lens and cannot form images, but is sensitive to changes in light and dark and can detect movement. Lizard_sentence_49

This helps them detect predators stalking it from above. Lizard_sentence_50

Venom Lizard_section_6

Further information: Evolution of snake venom Lizard_sentence_51

Until 2006 it was thought that the Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard were the only venomous lizards. Lizard_sentence_52

However, several species of monitor lizards, including the Komodo dragon, produce powerful venom in their oral glands. Lizard_sentence_53

Lace monitor venom, for instance, causes swift loss of consciousness and extensive bleeding through its pharmacological effects, both lowering blood pressure and preventing blood clotting. Lizard_sentence_54

Nine classes of toxin known from snakes are produced by lizards. Lizard_sentence_55

The range of actions provides the potential for new medicinal drugs based on lizard venom proteins. Lizard_sentence_56

Genes associated with venom toxins have been found in the salivary glands on a wide range of lizards, including species traditionally thought of as non-venomous, such as iguanas and bearded dragons. Lizard_sentence_57

This suggests that these genes evolved in the common ancestor of lizards and snakes, some 200 million years ago (forming a single clade, the Toxicofera). Lizard_sentence_58

However, most of these putative venom genes were "housekeeping genes" found in all cells and tissues, including skin and cloacal scent glands. Lizard_sentence_59

The genes in question may thus be evolutionary precursors of venom genes. Lizard_sentence_60

Respiration Lizard_section_7

Recent studies (2013 and 2014) on the lung anatomy of the savannah monitor and green iguana found them to have a unidirectional airflow system, which involves the air moving in a loop through the lungs when breathing. Lizard_sentence_61

This was previously thought to only exist in the archosaurs (crocodilians and birds). Lizard_sentence_62

This may be evidence that unidirectional airflow is an ancestral trait in diapsids. Lizard_sentence_63

Reproduction and lifecycle Lizard_section_8

As with all amniotes, lizards rely on internal fertilisation and copulation involves the male inserting one of his hemipenes into the female's cloaca. Lizard_sentence_64

The majority of species are oviparous (egg laying). Lizard_sentence_65

The female deposits the eggs in a protective structure like a nest or crevice or simply on the ground. Lizard_sentence_66

Depending on the species, clutch size can vary from 4–5 percent of the females body weight to 40–50 percent and clutches range from one or a few large eggs to dozens of small ones. Lizard_sentence_67

In most lizards, the eggs have leathery shells to allow for the exchange of water, although more arid-living species have calcified shells to retain water. Lizard_sentence_68

Inside the eggs, the embryos use nutrients from the yolk. Lizard_sentence_69

Parental care is uncommon and the female usually abandons the eggs after laying them. Lizard_sentence_70

Brooding and protection of eggs does occur in some species. Lizard_sentence_71

The female prairie skink uses respiratory water loss to maintain the humidity of the eggs which facilitates embryonic development. Lizard_sentence_72

In lace monitors, the young hatch close to 300 days, and the female returns to help them escape the termite mound were the eggs were laid. Lizard_sentence_73

Around 20 percent of lizard species reproduce via viviparity (live birth). Lizard_sentence_74

This is particularly common in Anguimorphs. Lizard_sentence_75

Viviparous species give birth to relatively developed young which look like miniature adults. Lizard_sentence_76

Embryos are nourished via a placenta-like structure. Lizard_sentence_77

A minority of lizards have parthenogenesis (reproduction from unfertilised eggs). Lizard_sentence_78

These species consist of all females who reproduce asexually with no need for males. Lizard_sentence_79

This is known in occur in various species of whiptail lizards. Lizard_sentence_80

Parthenogenesis was also recorded in species that normally reproduce sexually. Lizard_sentence_81

A captive female Komodo dragon produced a clutch of eggs, despite being separated from males for over two years. Lizard_sentence_82

Sex determination in lizards can be temperature-dependent. Lizard_sentence_83

The temperature of the eggs' micro-environment can determine the sex of the hatched young: low temperature incubation produces more females while higher temperatures produce more males. Lizard_sentence_84

However, some lizards have sex chromosomes and both male heterogamety (XY and XXY) and female heterogamety (ZW) occur. Lizard_sentence_85

Behaviour Lizard_section_9

Diurnality and thermoregulation Lizard_section_10

The majority of lizard species are active during the day, though some are active at night, notably geckos. Lizard_sentence_86

As ectotherms, lizards have a limited ability to regulate their body temperature, and must seek out and bask in sunlight to gain enough heat to become fully active. Lizard_sentence_87

Territoriality Lizard_section_11

Most social interactions among lizards are between breeding individuals. Lizard_sentence_88

Territoriality is common and is correlated with species that use sit-and-wait hunting strategies. Lizard_sentence_89

Males establish and maintain territories that contain resources which attract females and which they defend from other males. Lizard_sentence_90

Important resources include basking, feeding, and nesting sites as well as refuges from predators. Lizard_sentence_91

The habitat of a species affects the structure of territories, for example, rock lizards have territories atop rocky outcrops. Lizard_sentence_92

Some species may aggregate in groups, enhancing vigilance and lessening the risk of predation for individuals, particularly for juveniles. Lizard_sentence_93

Agonistic behaviour typically occurs between sexually mature males over territory or mates and may involve displays, posturing, chasing, grappling and biting. Lizard_sentence_94

Communication Lizard_section_12

Main article: Lizard communication Lizard_sentence_95

Lizards signal both to attract mates and to intimidate rivals. Lizard_sentence_96

Visual displays include body postures and inflation, push-ups, bright colours, mouth gapings and tail waggings. Lizard_sentence_97

Male anoles and iguanas have dewlaps or skin flaps which come in various sizes, colours and patterns and the expansion of the dewlap as well as head-bobs and body movements add to the visual signals. Lizard_sentence_98

Some species have deep blue dewlaps and communicate with ultraviolet signals. Lizard_sentence_99

Blue-tongued skinks will flash their tongues as a threat display. Lizard_sentence_100

Chameleons are known to change their complex colour patterns when communicating, particularly during agonistic encounters. Lizard_sentence_101

They tend to show brighter colours when displaying aggression and darker colours when they submit or "give up". Lizard_sentence_102

Several gecko species are brightly coloured; some species tilt their bodies to display their coloration. Lizard_sentence_103

In certain species, brightly coloured males turn dull when not in the presence of rivals or females. Lizard_sentence_104

While it is usually males that display, in some species females also use such communication. Lizard_sentence_105

In the bronze anole, head-bobs are a common form of communication among females, the speed and frequency varying with age and territorial status. Lizard_sentence_106

Chemical cues or pheromones are also important in communication. Lizard_sentence_107

Males typically direct signals at rivals, while females direct them at potential mates. Lizard_sentence_108

Lizards may be able to recognise individuals of the same species by their scent. Lizard_sentence_109

Acoustic communication is less common in lizards. Lizard_sentence_110

, a typical reptilian sound, is mostly produced by larger species as part of a threat display, accompanying gaping jaws. Lizard_sentence_111

Some groups, particularly geckos, snake-lizards, and some iguanids, can produce more complex sounds and vocal apparatuses have independently evolved in different groups. Lizard_sentence_112

These sounds are used for courtship, territorial defense and in distress, and include clicks, squeaks, barks and growls. Lizard_sentence_113

The mating call of the male tokay gecko is heard as "tokay-tokay!". Lizard_sentence_114

Tactile communication involves individuals rubbing against each other, either in courtship or in aggression. Lizard_sentence_115

Some chameleon species communicate with one another by vibrating the substrate that they are standing on, such as a tree branch or leaf. Lizard_sentence_116

Ecology Lizard_section_13

Distribution and habitat Lizard_section_14

Lizards are found worldwide, excluding the far north and Antarctica, and some islands. Lizard_sentence_117

They can be found in elevations from sea level to 5,000 m (16,000 ft). Lizard_sentence_118

They prefer warmer, tropical climates but are adaptable and can live in all but the most extreme environments. Lizard_sentence_119

Lizards also exploit a number of habitats; most primarily live on the ground, but others may live in rocks, on trees, underground and even in water. Lizard_sentence_120

The marine iguana is adapted for life in the sea. Lizard_sentence_121

Diet Lizard_section_15

The majority of lizard species are predatory and the most common prey items are small, terrestrial invertebrates, particularly insects. Lizard_sentence_122

Many species are sit-and-wait predators though others may be more active foragers. Lizard_sentence_123

Chameleons prey on numerous insect species, such as beetles, grasshoppers and winged termites as well as spiders. Lizard_sentence_124

They rely on persistence and ambush to capture these prey. Lizard_sentence_125

An individual perches on a branch and stays perfectly still, with only its eyes moving. Lizard_sentence_126

When an insect lands, the chameleon focuses its eyes on the target and slowly moves towards it before projecting its long sticky tongue which, when hauled back, brings the attach prey with it. Lizard_sentence_127

Geckos feed on crickets, beetles, termites and moths. Lizard_sentence_128

Termites are an important part of the diets of some species of Autarchoglossa, since, as social insects, they can be found in large numbers in one spot. Lizard_sentence_129

Ants may form a prominent part of the diet of some lizards, particularly among the lacertas. Lizard_sentence_130

Horned lizards are also well known for specializing on ants. Lizard_sentence_131

Due to their small size and indigestible chitin, ants must be consumed in large amounts, and ant-eating lizards have larger stomachs than even herbivorous ones. Lizard_sentence_132

Species of skink and alligator lizards eat snails and their power jaws and molar-like teeth are adapted for breaking the shells. Lizard_sentence_133

Larger species, such as monitor lizards, can feed on larger prey including fish, frogs, birds, mammals and other reptiles. Lizard_sentence_134

Prey may be swallowed whole and torn into smaller pieces. Lizard_sentence_135

Both bird and reptile eggs may also be consumed as well. Lizard_sentence_136

Gila monsters and beaded lizards climb trees to reach both the eggs and young of birds. Lizard_sentence_137

Despite being venomous, these species rely on their strong jaws to kill prey. Lizard_sentence_138

Mammalian prey typically consists of rodents and leporids; the Komodo dragon can kill prey as large as water buffalo. Lizard_sentence_139

Dragons are prolific scavengers, and a single decaying carcass can attract several from 2 km (1.2 mi) away. Lizard_sentence_140

A 50 kg (110 lb) dragon is capable of consuming a 31 kg (68 lb) carcass in 17 minutes. Lizard_sentence_141

Around 2 percent of lizard species, including many iguanids, are herbivores. Lizard_sentence_142

Adults of these species eat plant parts like flowers, leaves, stems and fruit, while juveniles eat more insects. Lizard_sentence_143

Plant parts can be hard to digest, and, as they get closer to adulthood, juvenile iguanas eat faeces from adults to acquire the microflora necessary for their transition to a plant-based diet. Lizard_sentence_144

Perhaps the most herbivorous species is the marine iguana which dives 15 m (49 ft) to forage for algae, kelp and other marine plants. Lizard_sentence_145

Some non-herbivorous species supplement their insect diet with fruit, which is easily digested. Lizard_sentence_146

Antipredator adaptations Lizard_section_16

Main article: Antipredator adaptation Lizard_sentence_147

Lizards have a variety of antipredator adaptations, including running and climbing, venom, camouflage, tail autotomy, and reflex bleeding. Lizard_sentence_148

Camouflage Lizard_section_17

Lizards exploit a variety of different camouflage methods. Lizard_sentence_149

Many lizards are disruptively patterned. Lizard_sentence_150

In some species, such as Aegean wall lizards, individuals vary in colour, and select rocks which best match their own colour to minimise the risk of being detected by predators. Lizard_sentence_151

The Moorish gecko is able to change colour for camouflage: when a light-coloured gecko is placed on a dark surface, it darkens within an hour to match the environment. Lizard_sentence_152

The chameleons in general use their ability to change their coloration for signalling rather than camouflage, but some species such as Smith's dwarf chameleon do use active colour change for camouflage purposes. Lizard_sentence_153

The flat-tail horned lizard's body is coloured like its desert background, and is flattened and fringed with white scales to minimise its shadow. Lizard_sentence_154

Autotomy Lizard_section_18

Many lizards, including geckos and skinks, are capable of shedding their tails (autotomy). Lizard_sentence_155

The detached tail, sometimes brilliantly coloured, continues to writhe after detaching, distracting the predator's attention from the fleeing prey. Lizard_sentence_156

Lizards partially regenerate their tails over a period of weeks. Lizard_sentence_157

Some 326 genes are involved in regenerating lizard tails. Lizard_sentence_158

The fish-scale gecko Geckolepis megalepis sheds patches of skin and scales if grabbed. Lizard_sentence_159

Escape, playing dead, reflex bleeding Lizard_section_19

Many lizards attempt to escape from danger by running to a place of safety; for example, wall lizards can run up walls and hide in holes or cracks. Lizard_sentence_160

Horned lizards adopt differing defences for specific predators. Lizard_sentence_161

They may play dead to deceive a predator that has caught them; attempt to outrun the rattlesnake, which does not pursue prey; but stay still, relying on their cryptic coloration, for Masticophis whip snakes which can catch even swift prey. Lizard_sentence_162

If caught, some species such as the greater short-horned lizard puff themselves up, making their bodies hard for a narrow-mouthed predator like a whip snake to swallow. Lizard_sentence_163

Finally, horned lizards can squirt blood at cat and dog predators from a pouch beneath its eyes, to a distance of about two metres (6.6 feet); the blood tastes foul to these attackers. Lizard_sentence_164

Evolution Lizard_section_20

Fossil history Lizard_section_21

The earliest known fossil remains of a lizard belong to the iguanian species Tikiguania estesi, found in the Tiki Formation of India, which dates to the Carnian stage of the Triassic period, about 220 million years ago. Lizard_sentence_165

However, doubt has been raised over the age of Tikiguania because it is almost indistinguishable from modern agamid lizards. Lizard_sentence_166

The Tikiguania remains may instead be late Tertiary or Quaternary in age, having been washed into much older Triassic sediments. Lizard_sentence_167

Lizards are most closely related to the Rhynchocephalia, which appeared in the Late Triassic, so the earliest lizards probably appeared at that time. Lizard_sentence_168

Mitochondrial phylogenetics suggest that the first lizards evolved in the late Permian. Lizard_sentence_169

It had been thought on the basis of morphological data that iguanid lizards diverged from other squamates very early on, but molecular evidence contradicts this. Lizard_sentence_170

Mosasaurs probably evolved from an extinct group of aquatic lizards known as aigialosaurs in the Early Cretaceous. Lizard_sentence_171

Dolichosauridae is a family of Late Cretaceous aquatic varanoid lizards closely related to the mosasaurs. Lizard_sentence_172

Phylogeny Lizard_section_22

External Lizard_section_23

The position of the lizards and other Squamata among the reptiles was studied using fossil evidence by Rainer Schoch and Hans-Dieter Sues in 2015. Lizard_sentence_173

Lizards form about 60% of the extant non-avian reptiles. Lizard_sentence_174

Internal Lizard_section_24

Both the snakes and the Amphisbaenia (worm lizards) are clades deep within the Squamata (the smallest clade that contains all the lizards), so "lizard" is paraphyletic. Lizard_sentence_175

The cladogram is based on genomic analysis by Wiens and colleagues in 2012 and 2016. Lizard_sentence_176

Excluded taxa are shown in upper case on the cladogram. Lizard_sentence_177

Taxonomy Lizard_section_25

Main article: List of Lacertilia families Lizard_sentence_178

In the 13th century, lizards were recognized in Europe as part of a broad category of reptiles that consisted of a miscellany of egg-laying creatures, including "snakes, various fantastic monsters, […], assorted amphibians, and worms", as recorded by Vincent of Beauvais in his Mirror of Nature. Lizard_sentence_179

The seventeenth century saw changes in this loose description. Lizard_sentence_180

The name Sauria was coined by James Macartney (1802); it was the Latinisation of the French name Sauriens, coined by Alexandre Brongniart (1800) for an order of reptiles in the classification proposed by the author, containing lizards and crocodilians, later discovered not to be each other's closest relatives. Lizard_sentence_181

Later authors used the term "Sauria" in a more restricted sense, i.e. as a synonym of Lacertilia, a suborder of Squamata that includes all lizards but excludes snakes. Lizard_sentence_182

This classification is rarely used today because Sauria so-defined is a paraphyletic group. Lizard_sentence_183

It was defined as a clade by Jacques Gauthier, Arnold G. Kluge and Timothy Rowe (1988) as the group containing the most recent common ancestor of archosaurs and lepidosaurs (the groups containing crocodiles and lizards, as per Mcartney's original definition) and all its descendants. Lizard_sentence_184

A different definition was formulated by Michael deBraga and Olivier Rieppel (1997), who defined Sauria as the clade containing the most recent common ancestor of Choristodera, Archosauromorpha, Lepidosauromorpha and all their descendants. Lizard_sentence_185

However, these uses have not gained wide acceptance among specialists. Lizard_sentence_186

Convergence Lizard_section_26

Further information: Convergent evolution Lizard_sentence_187

Lizards have frequently evolved convergently, with multiple groups independently developing similar morphology and ecological niches. Lizard_sentence_188

Anolis ecomorphs have become a model system in evolutionary biology for studying convergence. Lizard_sentence_189

Limbs have been lost or reduced independently over two dozen times across lizard evolution, including in the Anniellidae, Anguidae, Cordylidae, Dibamidae, Gymnophthalmidae, Pygopodidae, and Scincidae; snakes are just the most famous and species-rich group of Squamata to have followed this path. Lizard_sentence_190

Relationship with humans Lizard_section_27

Most lizard species are harmless to humans. Lizard_sentence_191

Only the largest lizard species, the Komodo dragon, which reaches 3.3 m (11 ft) in length and weighs up to 166 kg (366 lb), has been known to stalk, attack, and, on occasion, kill humans. Lizard_sentence_192

An eight-year-old Indonesian boy died from blood loss after an attack in 2007. Lizard_sentence_193

Numerous species of lizard are kept as pets, including bearded dragons, iguanas, anoles, and geckos (such as the popular leopard gecko). Lizard_sentence_194

Lizards appear in myths and folktales around the world. Lizard_sentence_195

In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Tarrotarro, the lizard god, split the human race into male and female, and gave people the ability to express themselves in art. Lizard_sentence_196

A lizard king named Mo'o features in Hawaii and other cultures in Polynesia. Lizard_sentence_197

In the Amazon, the lizard is the king of beasts, while among the Bantu of Africa, the god Unkulunkulu sent a chameleon to tell humans they would live forever, but the chameleon was held up, and another lizard brought a different message, that the time of humanity was limited. Lizard_sentence_198

A popular legend in Maharashtra tells the tale of how a common Indian monitor, with ropes attached, was used to scale the walls of the fort in the Battle of Sinhagad. Lizard_sentence_199

In the Bhojpuri speaking region of India and Nepal, there is a belief among children that, on touching Skunk's tail three (or five) time with the shortest finger gives money. Lizard_sentence_200

Green iguanas are eaten in Central America, where they are sometimes referred to as "chicken of the tree" after their habit of resting in trees and their supposedly chicken-like taste, while spiny-tailed lizards are eaten in Africa. Lizard_sentence_201

In North Africa, Uromastyx species are considered dhaab or 'fish of the desert' and eaten by nomadic tribes. Lizard_sentence_202

Lizards such as the Gila monster produce toxins with medical applications. Lizard_sentence_203

Gila toxin reduces plasma glucose; the substance is now synthesised for use in the anti-diabetes drug exenatide (Byetta). Lizard_sentence_204

Another toxin from Gila monster saliva has been studied for use as an anti-Alzheimer's drug. Lizard_sentence_205

Lizards in many cultures share the symbolism of snakes, especially as an emblem of resurrection. Lizard_sentence_206

This may have derived from their regular moulting. Lizard_sentence_207

The motif of lizards on Christian candle holders probably alludes to the same symbolism. Lizard_sentence_208

According to Jack Tresidder, in Egypt and the Classical world they were beneficial emblems, linked with wisdom. Lizard_sentence_209

In African, Aboriginal and Melanesian folklore they are linked to cultural heroes or ancestral figures. Lizard_sentence_210


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lizard.