Madagascar Giant Day Gecko

The Madagascar Giant Day Gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis or Phelsuma grandis) is a reptile in the Gekkonidae family of gecko lizards.

The Madagascar Giant Day Gecko is bright green with a red stripe from its nostril to each eye. It has red coloured dots or bars on its back. Its underbelly is creamy-white or yellow. It has round pupils (instead of vertical pupils like nocturnal lizards). It has no eyelids, so it keeps its eyes moist and clean by licking them with its long tongue.

Continue reading “Madagascar Giant Day Gecko”

Komodo Dragon’s Tongue

The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a large reptile in the Varanidae family of monitor lizards. It is an ectotherm varanid. 

The Komodo Dragon has sharp teeth and a long, yellow, deeply-forked tongue. 

It eats invertebrates, birds, and mammals, such as monkeys. It uses venom to kill its prey, because the toxins stop the prey’s wound from clotting. The animal loses blood pressure and lots of blood. The Komodo Dragon takes a bite out of an animal, even a large animal, and the animal dies within a few days. 

The Komodo Dragon can eat a monkey or a deer whole. So, why does it need a long tongue? 

Continue reading “Komodo Dragon’s Tongue”

Jackson’s Forest Lizard

The Jackson’s Forest Lizard (Adolfus jacksoni) is a small to medium-sized reptile in the Lacertidae family of wall lizards. It is a lacertid. 

The Jackson’s Forest Lizard is long and slender with shiny scales and a long tail. It has brown stripes on either side of its body with rows of greenish spots. It has a pale underbelly. It has large black eyes with yellow eye rings. It has short legs with five toes on each foot.

Continue reading “Jackson’s Forest Lizard”

RESEARCH: Animals have played an important health role during the COVID-19 pandemic

A 2020 research study indicates that animals, mainly pets, have played an important health role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers at the University of South Australia studied the effects of animals during the pandemic when human-to-human contact was restricted to reduce the spread of the virus. 

Researcher Dr. Janette Young said, “To fill the void of loneliness and provide a buffer against stress, there has been a global upsurge in people adopting dogs and cats from animal shelters during lockdowns. Breeders have also been inundated with demands for puppies quadrupling some waiting lists.”

It is estimated that more than half the global population share their lives with one or more pets. The health benefits have been widely reported, but little data exists regarding the specific benefits that pets bring to humans in terms of touch. 

Continue reading “RESEARCH: Animals have played an important health role during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Jacky Dragon

The Jacky Dragon (Amphibolurus muricatus) is a medium-sized reptile in the Agamidae family of agamid lizards. It is also known as the Tree Dragon, the Stonewalker, or the Blood-Sucker.

The Jacky Dragon has an elongated, rough-scaled, brown to pale-grey body with dark markings along the middle of its back. The dark markings are combined with pale blotches. It has a dark-brown bar between its eyes and its ears. It has five crests on its head. It has a bright yellow lining in its mouth, and orange-red corners of its mouth, with a broad, thick, fleshy tongue. Its hind (back) legs are longer than its front legs. Its feet have five clawed toes.

Continue reading “Jacky Dragon”

Desert Monitor Lizard

The Desert Monitor Lizard (Varanus griseus) is a large reptile in the Squamata order of monitor lizards.

The Desert Monitor Lizard can be a variety of colours from light-brown to yellowish to grey, with spots and 5-8 dark-brown bands. It also has dark-brown bands on its long, tapered tail. It has a large mouth. Its nostrils are close to its small, brown eyes. Its feet have toes with long, sharp claws. 

Continue reading “Desert Monitor Lizard”

Steppe Runner Lizard

The Steppe Runner (Eremias arguta) is a medium-sized reptile in the Lacertidae family of wall lizards. It is also known as the Mongolian Racerunner. 

The Steppe Runner varies in colour to camouflage itself with its environment. It has a wide body, deep head, and short tail. Around its head and neck, older males may have tubercles, which are small, rounded outgrowths of skin. It has a light underbelly. It has dark eyes. Its fourth toe on its hind (back) leg is longer than the other toes. 

Continue reading “Steppe Runner Lizard”

Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama Lizard

The Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama Lizard (Phrynocephalus helioscopus) is a small lizard in the agamid family. It is also known as the Fergana Toadhead Agama. 

The Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama Lizard has a short, wide head, and a short nose. It has rough skin. It has scale fringes around its eyes to keep out the desert sand. It varies in colour from light-beige to grey to dark-brown, with white, black, and red patterns that camouflages it with its environment. It has a light underbelly. It has partially fringed toes to help it walk on sand. 

Continue reading “Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama Lizard”

CREATURE FEATURE: Common Leopard Gecko

The Common Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis Mascularis) is a small ground-dwelling reptilian lizard. 

The Common Leopard Gecko is pale beige with dark-brown markings and spots. Its back is covered with small lumps. It has short legs with short nails on its toes, which are used for gripping objects (it does not have sticky pads on its feet). It has movable eyelids. It has about 100 small teeth. It has a thick, fleshy tail.

It can regenerate its tail if if drops off. This is called caudal autotomy. It regularly sheds its skin (about once a month). This is called moulting. 

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Common Leopard Gecko”