World Lizard Day

Every year on August 14 wildlife lovers celebrate World Lizard Day. The exact origin of this date is unknown. It is known only that this holiday was founded by a group of enthusiastic scientists and fans of herpetology.

The purpose of the holiday is to change the negative public opinion about these animals.

Lizards (Lat. Lacertilia) are one of the most numerous terrestrial vertebrates. Most of them have a terrestrial lifestyle, some live in soil, sand, trees, rocks, near the surf line. They have a variety of the most amazing shapes, sizes and colors of skin. Among the lizards are such giants as Komodo dragon (Lat. Varanus komodoensis), which reaches a length of 3 meters and weighs 135 kg.

The smallest lizards on Earth are geckos, some of which are 3.5 to 4 cm long.

American naturalist Gilbert Klingel found on the island of Inagua (Bahamas) a species of gecko (Lat. Sphaerodactylus) of such a size that it easily fit inside the ring removed from the finger. The European leaf-toed gecko (Lat. Euleptes europaea) also has a small size, it is only 7 cm.

The vast majority of lizards are predators that feed on any prey they can hunt. Large species feed on vertebrates, including mammals, birds, snakes and smaller species of lizards, some of them prefer snails. Insectivorous lizards play an important role as exterminators of agricultural pests. Many species can diversify their diet with fruits and juicy greens, but there are not many true vegetarians.

More than 6,300 species of lizards are known to date! Today it is a thriving group of animals. But due to human activities, most species become rare, and many are in danger of extinction.

Mykolaiv Zoo joins in celebration of World Lizard Day.

The collection of lizards in our zoo includes 20 species. 6 species reproduce, we regularly receive offspring from them. The specialists of our zoo often exchange these offspring for other species of reptiles, which are not yet in the collection.

Recently, the following species have appeared in the collection: a young pair of panther chameleons (Lat. Furcifer pardalis), a pair of common blue-tongued skinks (Lat. Tiliqua scincoides) and a group of 5 individuals of Schneider's skinks (Lat. Eumeces schneideri).

Aquaterrarium department of Mykolaiv Zoo is famous for its long-lived lizards: tokay gecko (Lat. Gekko gecko) — 10 years, Amboina sail-finned lizard (Lat. Hydrosaurus amboinensis) — 11 years, Sudan plated lizard (Lat. Gerrhosaurus major) — 13 years.

The oldest lizard of our zoo is the common wall gecko (Lat. Tarentola mauritanica), which is already 23 years old.

Follow our news and do not forget to visit Mykolaiv Zoo!