Neat Facts about the Flying Gecko
The flying gecko is one of the most interesting creatures in the animal kingdom out there today. Why? Because when you see this creature in action, it is hard to believe that a lizard can fly! This little green fellow is a favorite of wildlife observers and pet owners alike, since it is at home both in the rain forest and in someone’s living room in a terrarium. If you have ever been curious about a flying gecko, then this article is for you.
Before we talk about this particular type of gecko, let us first cover the gecko in general so that we understand what kind of creature we have on our hands. A gecko is a small lizard, which is a type of reptile (which is a class in the chordata phylum in the animal kingdom). Geckos are a bit distinct in that they do not have eyelids; rather, they have a mucous membrane over their eyes that they regularly lick to keep clean. Most of these small creature are well-known for their adhesive pads they have on their feet, which allows them to climb over just about any surface and scamper to and from tree to tree. This actually helps the flying gecko do what it does to get its name.
I know the question that you must be asking yourself by this point: Can the flying gecko actually fly? In reality, unfortunately, this little creature cannot really fly. At least, it cannot soar through the air like a bird or flying insect. It gets its name from its ability to leap from tree to tree through the air, as if it is actually flying. In this respect it is similar to the Atlantic flying fish – which does not actually fly, and just leaps out of the water at high speeds. Thus, this type of gecko does not have the ability to fly but is an amazing jumper. The little folds of skin – almost like webbing – on their bodies actually gives them this ability to “glide” through the air, much like a flying squirrel.
These geckos tend to live around three years and are average in size as far as lizards are concerned, capable of growing up to eight inches in length. The color of their skin varies based on their habitat but usually is green or brown. They are native to the Malaysian peninsula, yet can be found in a variety of tropical rainforests around the world (the humidity and temperature of these tropical regions are a must for most cold-blooded reptiles like the gecko, who cannot warm themselves up). Their habitat is also conducive to their living conditions – they are arboreal creatures, which means they spend most of their time in trees. For food, the flying gecko prefers insects and will eat a variety of them for dinner.
You can actually own one of these geckos yourself. They do particularly well in large terrariums that have large branches in them to mimic or replicate their natural environment (although they will also stick to the glass and jump around the walls). Do not keep one of these creatures in a small terrarium, though; the shortage of space will make it unhealthy because it will not be able to move about. A high, 15 to 20-gallon terrarium is a good choice for a gecko because it offers ample living space for these active lizards.
If you want a gecko of your own, or just want to see them outdoors, then I encourage you to look into keeping and observing exotic pets so you know what to do and what to look for. The next time you are in a tropical environment, look up. You may just see a lizard flying by!