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Lava Lizard

Fun Facts About The Lava Lizard

The Lava Lizard is not one specific lizard. Instead, it is a group of several types of lizards, known as Tropidurus, that are collectively called Lava Lizards.

Some experts see these various species as proof that the theory of evolution is correct. Many specifically point to the lava lizards that can be found on the Galapagos Islands.  Some scientists believe that the seven species that are found there all are evolved from the same Tropidurus.  Because each of the seven species lives in a different section of the islands, some experts feel that points toward evolution being the cause for the differences. Of course, not everyone agrees and other experts think that the differences in the various types of lava lizards have always existed and, therefore, cannot be offered as proof that the theory of evolution is correct.

Lava lizards eat moths, plants, and a variety of other insects. They fall prey to certain birds, including hawks and centipedes. They do possess an interesting defense mechanism that helps them survive attack by a predator.

When a predator grabs a lava lizard by the tail, the lizard can actually drop their tail. As the predator hangs on to the tail, it will continue to wiggle about as the lava lizard has time to flee. The tail that was left behind will soon grow back, allowing the lizard to use this defense mechanism more than once. The coloring of lava lizard is quite interesting to look at. Also, the coloring provides another layer of protection in the form of camouflaging the lizard from potential predators.  In some cases, they can change color in order to blend with their surroundings.

Male lizards are much larger than the females. In fact, the males can be as much as three times larger as the females. Males tend to be rather protective of what they consider to be their territory. They will do push-ups to try and show possible rivals who is the boss. It is amusing to watch as lava lizards do their push-ups. In addition to doing them in order to strike fear in their rivals, they also do them as a way to show off for females. Yes, push-ups are often part of the courting ritual of a lava lizard. Visitors to the Galapagos Islands, and other places inhabited by lava lizards, will likely see them quite often. That is because these lizards are not very fearful of humans, therefore they are often darting about right under foot. In fact, if you are not careful, you might accidentally step on one. Of course, lava lizards are cold blooded. For that reason, they spend much of their time each day relaxing in the sun. After they have warmed up sufficiently, other daily activities would include hunting for food and dashing about looking for females. These lizards mate with all females that come into their territory.

Lava lizards are fun to watch and their beautiful coloring and fascinating defense mechanism make them among the most well-knows and closely studied lizards in the world.