The Frilled Lizard grows to 3 feet in length in dry and sandy areas of north-eastern Australia. It lives in trees but often comes down to feed on the ground. If you come across one in the open and chase it you will soon discover why it has a frill. Let’s know what use is the frilled lizard’s frill.
When disturbed the Frilled Lizard at first takes to its heels, sprinting across the ground on its hind legs, with its long tail acting as a stabilizer. If there is not tree to climb and it finds itself cornered, it turns and tries to frighten its enemy away. The long frill in suddenly erected around its neck and the mouth opens wide in a defiant, aggressive gesture.
The sudden flash of colors from the frill and inside the mouth, together with angry hissing noises, usually changes the attacker’s mind. If you were chasing a lizard that suddenly turned on you with a head several times bigger that it was a movement ago, wouldn’t you have second thoughts about catching it?
How can a gecko run up the wall?
Visitors to tropical countries are usually introduced to the acrobatic antics of geckos on their first evening. As the lights go on and insects begin to cluster around them, the geckos appear to form their daytime hiding places.
To reach the insects they think nothing of scampering up the wall and sometimes even across the ceiling. A close examination of the gecko’s foot reveals how it is able to carry out this gravity defying movements.
The toes are fat and flattened and the underneath of each consists of rows of soft, folded skin bearing thousands of tiny hooks. These catch n any irregularity, however small, in the wall or ceiling, and support the animal’s weight.
How can a chameleon look at two things at once?
If you see a chameleon in the zoo you may notice that although it sits on a branch with one bulging eye on you, the other eye may be looking in a completely different direction. The eyes are very curious. Each has a thick conical lid which covers nearly all the eye apart from a small peephole at the tip.
Each of these lids can revolve independently of the other and they look very much like turrets as they swivel around focusing on objects. The objects they focus on most are insects. Chameleons live in trees and their roving eyes probably given them a better chance of spotting their prey among the foliage without being seen themselves.
They are very stealthy creatures and stalk along the branches after insects extremely slowly. They can look all around them on either side, without turning their heads. Once an eye sees an insect, the other swivels round to focus on it as well.
After carefully judging the range, the chameleon suddenly darts out its tongue and snatches the insect into its mouth. This happens more quickly than we can see but the chameleon’s aim is deadly and it rarely misses.
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