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
The average lifespan of a lizard usually runs between one and 30 years, with a median of 10 years. Because there are over 5,000 different species of lizards, the lifespan varies from species to species.Full Answer >
Basilisk lizards live in the tropical rain forests of southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Some have been introduced to Florida and survive the winter months by burrowing under leaf litter. Basilisk lizards belong to the family Corytophanidae and are closely related to iguanas.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 >
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 >