The New Caledonian Giant Gecko (Rhacodactylus leachianus) is a reptile in the Diplodactylidae family of gecko lizards.
It is native to the island of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean.
It is a nocturnal, arboreal lizard, active at night. However, it often basks in the sunshine during the day.
Nocturnal animals usually have large eyes and pupils that dilate (enlarge) to let in more light than smaller eyes, but some nocturnal animals have small eyes with large pupils.
Many gecko species have rounded pupils which can shrink to a tiny, tiny black dot.
The New Caledonian Giant Gecko has large round eyes with black vertical pupils. This gives the Giant Gecko the ability to judge distance and ambush its prey, such as insects and spiders.
Most lizards have moveable eyelids to help keep their eyes clean and to protect them, but the New Caledonian Giant Gecko does not have moveable eyelids. Instead, it has a transparent (see-through) membrane on each eye that protects them.
Location of photographs: Paris Zoo, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM