Lizards are the most impressive species

Before releasing it into the wild, Juan carefully kept a head and body specimen of Heloderma charlesbogerti, a lizard endemic to eastern Guatemala that is on the verge of extinction.

Lizards are a diverse and ancient group of reptiles that live around the world today. is Thousands of species Lizards and having them all adaptations Y Property specialty. They are also lizards frillswith lizards Horn And lizards On. Most lizards have four legs, but some have two and some don’t.

Name “lizard” This does not apply to a scientific group. Lizards belong to the order Cheated, which they share with snakes. There are many subgroups Within the Squamata they are often referred to as lizards, which include geckos, iguanas, snake lizards, and Audacoglossa. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (this), Association of North American agencies, organizations and taxonomists who provide taxonomic information. All lizards are sometimes grouped under the suborders Lacertilia or Sauria, but ITIS does not consider these scientific groups valid.

Are they dinosaurs?

Lizards probably predate dinosaurs and first appeared 230 million years ago, during the Triassic Period (AFP).
Lizards probably predate dinosaurs and first appeared 230 million years ago, during the Triassic Period (AFP).

Although they are reptiles, lizards They are not dinosaurs. Of Ease of the body, and therefore movement A fundamental difference between the two groups. There are lizards Feet extended And walk side by side. Dinosaurs, on the other hand, stood with their legs down. American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Lizards have been around for hundreds of millions of years Having survived several mass extinction events, Including the impact of the asteroid which wiped out non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago (although avian dinosaurs survived as birds). Alligators They probably predate the dinosaurs. They first appeared about 230 million years ago, during the Triassic period (251.9 and 201.3 million years ago).

“Based on a new assessment of lizard evolution, we now have We can place the appearance of these reptiles in the late Permian period, about 260 million years ago, ”he wrote. Alessandro Palci, Research assistant in evolutionary biology Flinders University, Australia The interior Conversation i 2018.

Types of lizards

Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) of Indonesia (REUTERS) are the largest and heaviest lizards.Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) of Indonesia (REUTERS) are the largest and heaviest lizards.
Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) of Indonesia (REUTERS) are the largest and heaviest lizards.

Lizards are large Different shapes, sizes and colors. The largest and heaviest lizards are dragons. Comfortable (Varanus commodensis) fra Indonesia. It weighed an average of 70 kg, and the largest Komodo dragon reached a length of 3.1 meters. The Smithsonian National Zoo Washington DC.

Definitely the Komodo dragons Big lizards. But because the smallest lizards are so small, it’s hard for scientists to say for sure which species is the smallest. Alligators Zaragoza When they described the feat of the world’s smallest lizard (Sphaerodactylus ariasae) in the Caribbean, And study Published in the 2001 edition Journal of Caribbean Science. with medium length 16 mm, Not counting the tail, the lizards were smaller than any bird or mammal known at the time.

But in 2021, a candidate received his little crown, when a chameleon was named. Brookesian valued The interior Madagascar The interior And study Published in the magazine Scientific reports. men out B. Lullaby less than those S. Arias, Because they only reach 0.5 inches (13.5mm). However, the females of this species Longer than Zaragua’s lizards, 19.2 mm

Size is not the only feature that distinguishes some species of lizards (REUTERS)Size is not the only feature that distinguishes some species of lizards (REUTERS)
Size is not the only feature that distinguishes some species of lizards (REUTERS)

“Since the overall body plan of reptiles is very similar to that of mammals and humans, it is fascinating to look at. How small these creatures and their organs can become, “ He later said in an email Biology The lead author of the study, Frank Clough, Herpetologist Bavarian State Zoological Collection, Munich.

Of Dimension This is not the only feature that distinguishes some types of lizards. For members of the breed Drake They are often called “Flying dragons” Because they glide from tree to tree in Southeast Asia using a thin membrane that extends between the front and rear legs like a pair of flat wings. From them Basil lizards It belongs to the category Basilisk in Central and South America They run so fast on their hind legs that they can run in the water, with the help of special scales on their feet. They do this to escape predators, giving them the nickname “Jesus Christ Lizard”. The Smithsonian National Zoo.

If the lizards are caught by predators, They can break or “drop” their tails to avoid being eaten. If this happens, they can regrow the queue, but the new queues are not exact copies. The original tail bones do not grow back, so new tails exist mainly cartilage, Following And study Published in the 2015 edition Developmental biology.

where they live

Lizards are ectothermic, meaning they depend on the external environment to stay warm and cannot regulate their body temperature like endothermic animals such as mammals (REUTERS).Lizards are ectothermic, meaning they depend on the external environment to stay warm and cannot regulate their body temperature like endothermic animals such as mammals (REUTERS).
Lizards are ectothermic, meaning they depend on the external environment to stay warm and cannot regulate their body temperature like endothermic animals such as mammals (REUTERS).

Alligators They live all over the world and occupy all types of habitats. For example, in North America, Horn keys Texas (Phrynosoma cornutum) spends most of its time on loose sand in open, arid or semi-arid areas of northern Mexico and south-central America, including most of Texas, hence their name, according to Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife.

On the contrary, East near the lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) usually lives Wooded areas. These lizards live in the north New York, Like the south, the north Florida And like the West ArkansasUse trees to escape predators such as snakes and birds National Wildlife Federation.

Some lizards etc. basil, They spend a lot of their time Waterfall. Lizards generally use freshwater habitats, but sea ​​urchins (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) of Galapagos Islands They dive into the sea to feed on algae natural History Museum From London.

Lizards can be territorial and spend most of their time alone or live with dozens of other lizards of the same or different species (REUTERS)Lizards can be territorial and spend most of their time alone or live with dozens of other lizards of the same or different species (REUTERS)
Lizards can be territorial and spend most of their time alone or live with dozens of other lizards of the same or different species (REUTERS)

They are lizards ectothermicThis is what it means Depending on the external environment To keep internal heat and warm, animals such as mammals cannot regulate their body temperature. This means that, like frogs and snakes, they are often called “cold-blooded”. Therefore, most lizards are active during the day and can be seen basking in the scorching sun.

Lizards can be territorial, spend most of their time alone, or live with dozens of other lizards of the same or different species. Alligators They don’t usually spend time with others of their kind, Except for the partner, but there are exceptions. For instance, Desert night lizards (Xantusia vigilis) lives in family groups A survey from University of California at Santa Cruz.

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