Q:

What is the difference between lizards and geckos?

A:

Quick Answer

Geckos are types of lizards, but have several physical features, such as shorter and broader heads and sticky feet, that distinguish them from other types of lizards. Geckos and lizards live in many areas around the world and are particularly well-suited for life in hot and dry locations, such as the American southwest and deserts in the Middle East.

Know More
What is the difference between lizards and geckos?
Credit: Bill Adams Moment Getty Images

Full Answer

There are over 100 different genera and approximately 1,000 species of geckos that live in the wild around the world. Although this family of nocturnal reptiles is large, there are even more species within the broader family of lizards. Although they are closely related, there are several physical traits that make it easy to distinguish geckos from other types of lizards. Most geckos have the ability to climb trees, and do so using tiny sticky pads that act as small suctions and are located on the bottoms of their four feet. Geckos also have longer toes that help them grasp the surfaces of tree bark and branches; their toes are covered with tiny hair-like extensions that help them scale uneven surfaces. Geckos have shorter and broader heads than many lizards, and also have short and stubby tails, in contrast to the long and narrow tails found on other lizards.

Learn more about Lizards

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do lizards have teeth?

    A:

    Lizards do have teeth. However, the teeth of most lizards aren't specialized the way they are in animals like carnivores or rodents. All of their teeth look like pegs and are simply for catching prey and moving them down the digestive tract.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do frilled lizards live?

    A:

    The frilled lizard is native to Northern Australia and Southern New Guinea. They inhabit tropical and warm temperate forests, as well as woodlands. These lizards are arboreal, spending most of their lives in trees, only descending for food or to engage in territorial conflicts.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do lizards eat?

    A:

    Every lizard species has unique dietary needs, because lizards are a group of reptiles spanning up to 6,000 species rather than a single species. Potential pet owners should research their species' dietary needs before bringing home an animal.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do lizards live?

    A:

    Lizards are distributed throughout the world, and as the San Diego Zoo notes, most of them live on the ground. Other common lizard dwelling places are underground burrows (especially in deserts), under rocks, marshy bogs and in trees.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore