The term lizard refers to a widespread group of reptiles. The difference between a lizard and a snake? Most people would say legs. But there are lizards without legs. The real answer is external ears and eyelids. Lizards have external ears that are not covered by skin. They also have eyelids that they can close voluntarily. Lizards can be as small as a pygmy chameleon and as large as a komodo dragon. Click on their picture to see their biography.
Columbian Black and White Tegu or Gold Tegu (Tupinambis teguixin). These lizards grow up to 3 feet! They live in tropical rainforests in the upper parts of South America. Their tail is as long as their body and they use it for defense. It is very hard and strong and if threatened they will whip it back and forth.
These tegus are carnivores, which means they eat mostly meat. Their meals would include small mammals, lizards, small birds, fish, and insects. Columbian Black and White Tegus are known to be aggressive and avoid human contact when they can.
Bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). These lizards live throughout Australia. They get their name from their characteristic dark hue on their throat. When threatened they puff out their throat which displays a deepened hue depending on their color. The most common bearded dragon's throat turns black, thus appearing like a beard on the lizard's chin.
Bearded dragons have hard spikes that run the length of their body. This is for protection as well as competing amongst other bearded dragons. When young, these lizards eat mainly insects and as they grow bigger they like to eat more green vegetation than anything else.
Leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius). These geckos live in southern Asian deserts. Leopard geckos are ground dwelling and nocturnal, which means they are awake at night and sleep during the day. They eat a variety of invertebrates including crickets, worms, and grub. They store fat in their large tails to use when food is scarce. The tail also helps protect against hungry predators. If the predator grabs ahold of the tail, the leopard gecko releases the tail and runs away with it's life. They can regrow their tail, though it takes a lot of time and energy and it never looks as pretty as the original.
Leopard geckos differ from other commonly known geckos. They have hard velvety skin instead of soft and moist. They have claws instead of pads. And they also have eyelids to keep out harsh sands. Most geckos do not have eyelids and must lick their eyes to keep them clear and moist.