Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Tan, Brown, Yellow, Green, Black|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Warm forests and deserts worldwide|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Insects, Birds, Small rodents|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Human, Birds, Snakes|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Long thin body and detachable coloured tail|
Lizard is a collective name for the different species of lizard that are found in the warmer climates around the world. The lizard is a reptile with scaly skin, and some species of lizard can shed their tails when they are in danger, but not all species of lizard are capable of doing this.
There are around 5,000 different species of lizard ranging from small lizards that are just a few centimeters in size, to much larger and more predatory lizards that measure a few meters from the head of the lizard to the tip of their tail.
Most species of lizard are either good climbers, or failing that good at sprinting which enables all the different species of lizard to escape danger in a flash. Some species of lizard are said to be so good at anchoring themselves into solid material that it has been known that criminals breaking into houses are able to use the lizard almost like a ladder, and therefore are able to climb up the lizard into the house.
Lizards are reptiles which means that lizards are cold blooded. Lizards tend to be more active during the night as lizards spend the day basking in the hot sun in order to warm themselves up. Lizards are therefore able to recharge their batteries during the day and can hunt with success at night.
For most species of lizard, sight is crucial both for locating prey and for communication between other lizards. Due to their extremely tuned eyesight, many species of lizard have highly acute colour vision. When communicating most lizards rely heavily on body language as lizards use specific postures, gestures and movements to define their territory, resolve any disputes, and entice mates.
Most species of lizard are harmless to humans with the main (and obvious) exception of the komodo dragon, which is the largest species of lizard in the world. Komodo dragons have been known to stalk, attack and kill humans that get in their way, primarily aided by the vast size of the komodo dragon. Some species of lizard have a venomous bite but none of these venomous species of lizard is toxic enough to really harm a human. Generally, if bitten by a venomous lizard, humans will receive a nasty and painful bite, which is normally caused by the strong jaws and bite of the lizard rather than the small amount of venom contained in it.
Lizards lay eggs in which baby lizards have from a few months later. Some species of lizard, such as the slow worm, appears to give birth to live young but this is not technically the case as the female lizard incubates the eggs in her body until they hatch rather than incubating them outside of the body like other species of lizard.
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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 7th November 2019
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]