21st October is Reptile Awareness Day! What better way to celebrate than by looking at some of the world’s most amazing reptiles!
1. Spider-man lizard
The Mwanza flat-headed rock agama closely resembles the comic book hero. This colourful critter is native to central Africa and lives on a diet of insects. It is the male lizards that sport the red and blue colouration whilst females are largely indistinguishable from other agama species.
2. Thorny dragon lizard
The thorny dragon, or thorny devil, can be found in Australia. Consuming thousands of small black ants day; these unusual creatures are known as obligate myrmecophages. They feast only on ants by lurking near ant trails, waiting for prey to pass. They are covered from head to toe in a dense arrangement of thorns and spikes to ward off predators.
3. Jackson’s chameleon
The horns atop their heads come to great use. In order to compete for female attention, males take part in jousting competitions and battle one another using their horned heads.
4. Green tree python
Like all pythons, the green tree python is not venomous. They use their prehensile body to spend their days coiled around tree branches. You can age a green tree python by its colour – hatchlings are usually yellow, orange, or red, which changes to a vivid green as they mature (usually 6 – 8 months old).
5. Brazilian rainbow boa
In the humid forests and across the open savannah the Brazilian rainbow boa hunts for small mammals, lizards, and birds to ambush. Unlike other species, boas give birth to live young in litters as big as 35 in number. One of the most beautiful boas; the sunlight is refracted by their scales into an iridescent sheen.
6. Crested gecko
These friendly-looking reptiles are elusive and secretive living in far-flung, scarcely-populated corners of the Earth. They inhabit the trees of the South Pacific. To protect those wide inquisitive eyes, they have a small spiked brow lying just above. And in order to clean their eyes they lick their eyeballs. Yes, you read that right.
7. Gold dust day gecko
Found in northern Madagascar, the little guys are possibly the most eye-catching of the geckos. “But wait, I’ve seen these in Hawaii!”, I hear you cry… Rumour has it eight lizards were released by a university student on the University of Hawaii campus in 1974 and have since formed a thriving population!