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.
Lizards are cold-blooded animals, meaning they do not have a high enough metabolism to regulate their own body temperatures. This means that globally distribution is higher in the tropics, sparser in temperate regions and entirely nonexistent at the poles. Lizards rely on the ambient temperature of the regions they inhabit to provide them with sufficient energy to remain active. Snowy mountain peaks, icebergs and even temperate regions in the winter are all exceedingly inhospitable places for lizards to live.
On the other hand, deserts, which are primarily inhospitable to most forms of life, provide lizards with all the heat they could ever need. The desert monitor lizard's range includes the Sahara, and the only two venomous lizards, the Gila and the horned toad, both make the deserts of the southwest United States their homes.
Of the familiar lizard families, marine iguanas are great swimmers. Chameleons are all tree dwellers, along with anoles and skinks. The enormous monitor lizards are a ground-dwelling group.Learn More
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 >
Lizards communicate through body language, sound and visual displays, such as posturing and gestures, in addition to bright colors and even barking or hissing. These communications are used to ward off rivals or potential predators and to attract mates.Full Answer >
A group of lizards is called a lounge. Only about 20 out of 6,000 lizards live in groups. Most lizard species are oviparous, meaning they lay their eggs. Many lizards lay their eggs in a secluded, thermally stable location, and then bury the eggs and leave them forever.Full Answer >
Lizards camouflage themselves to hide from predators and prevent detection by prey. Many also employ additional defense mechanisms such as tail shedding. Lizards with this capability easily detach their tails from their bodies and quickly grow a replacement.Full Answer >