Lizard Facts

There are many different species of lizards around the world. Some are friendly, while others are dangerous to people and other animals.

Lizard Facts for Kids

  • There are about 5,600 species of lizards around the world.
  • Evidence shows that lizards have been in existence on the earth for about two hundred million years and today’s lizards are a descendent of the dinosaur.
  • Some lizards have the ability to ‘lose their tail’ when they feel danger is approaching. The tail will often twitch and move to allow the predator to think it is the lizard. They can grow their tailback in time and it is usually thinner and can be a different color.
  • Scientists are studying the lizard’s ability to regrow their tails to see what trigger in their body gives them the ability to do it.
  • Some lizard species have tiny or small legs while others don’t have any legs at all. In the case of no legs, they are often confused about snakes.
  • The way to tell if the creature is a lizard versus a snake is to look for eyelids and see if the creature has external ears. Only lizards have these, snakes do not.
  • Lizards use their tongues to ‘smell’ as they can taste the air around them. That’s the reason you will often see a lizard moving their tongues quickly in and out of their mouth.

Most lizards are harmless but three species of lizards are considered to be dangerous:

The Gila Monster and the Mexican Beaded Lizard have dangerous venom.

The largest lizard is the Komodo Dragon, growing up to ten feet and contains more bacteria in its mouth than any other creature on earth.

A bite from a Komodo Dragon will not kill immediately but will cause a massive infection that eventually causes death.

  • There are some species of lizards that have the ability to replace their teeth all through their lives.
  • Lizards have some strange abilities: some can squirt blood from their eyes for a distance of up to four feet. This is one of the ways they can protect themselves in a situation of danger.
  • Lizards can live in a variety of areas including places that have very little water. They excrete salt through their skin and this can leave the white salt on their skin as a residue.

The Gecko is a unique lizard as it is the only one with vocal cords that it uses to make sounds.