A-z - Animals

What the Little Lizard is Called + 4 More Amazing Facts!

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Small lizards are stunningly complex creatures with many interesting aspects. Did you know that some lizards can reproduce without the help of males? They can also smell with their tongues, and are protected from the moment they are born.

Let's learn five awesome facts about tiny lizards and check out some adorable pictures!

#1: Tiny lizards are called pups!

cutest little lizard horny toad
Baby lizards are called hatchlings!


Chances are, you already know that lizards are a type of reptile. Like other reptiles, these adorable creatures hatch from eggs. It's no surprise, then, that little lizards are called hatchlings! Lizards aren't the only animals with this name, however. Baby alligators, baby crocodiles, and even baby sea turtles are also known as hatchlings.

#2: Chihuahua baby lizards are clones

small lizard eggs
A Chihuahua hybrid does not need a male to reproduce.

© srisakorn wonglakorn/Shutterstock.com

It's hard to imagine a baby being born without two parents. However, this is a reality for juvenile Chihuahuan lizards. This is possible because some specially bred female Chihuahuas do not require males to fertilize their eggs. Rather, it's a journey they can embark on alone.

Chihuahua lizards are an all-female species. This means that when they lay eggs, the genetic material in them is a copy of the female lizard. But how is this possible? The answer is simple: the eggs of these species do not need the help of a male to fertilize them. Female Chihuahuan lizards can fertilize without outside assistance.

Although scientists have seen successful production of babies from bred Chihuahua lizards, these instances have been limited to laboratories. All members of the species found in the wild were sterile, the researchers said.

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#3: Lizard Pups Are Very Independent

small lizard bearded dragon
Baby lizards eat the same food as their parents.

©iStock.com/Kaan Sezer

The words "baby" and "independent" don't usually belong in the same sentence. However, small lizards are the exception to this rule. Unlike mammals and marsupials, small lizards do not depend on their mother's milk as newborns. Instead, they can immediately start eating the same diet as adults.

Aside from their diet, baby lizards also don't need any care from their mothers. They instinctively know how to hunt and will avoid food that is too large for them. However, small lizards can be affected if they accidentally consume a food that is too large. Impingement occurs when food is too large to pass through the digestive organs of the small lizard and gets stuck. This can lead to serious illness and even death.

Although small lizard pups don't have the luxury of their parents protecting them, the scales work in their favor when it comes to avoiding predators. Since they are so small, predators can have a hard time finding them. They are also usually very fast, which allows them to escape danger with ease.

#4: Incubation temperature determines the sex of baby water dragons!

small lizard water dragon
Nest temperature determines whether Chinese water dragon pups are male or female.

©Valt Ahyppo/Shutterstock.com

Water dragons are one of the most sought after reptile pets in the world. Due to the meticulous care they require, they are considered intermediate pets. They are exotic reptiles, which means that poor care can have serious consequences. However, that's not the only interesting thing about them.

Chinese water dragons incubate their eggs for about three months before they are ready to hatch. During this time, the temperature of the nest determines whether the baby is male or female. In other words, temperatures above 28 degrees Celsius produce females, while cooler temperatures produce males.

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These amazing creatures lay their eggs in a small hole under the sand near the water. The female dragon digs a burrow first, and then lays her eggs directly in the burrow. If she misses, she either rolls the egg into the hole with her nose, or picks it up with her mouth and puts it where it belongs. Then, fill the hole with sand and hide it with twigs and other organic materials. The female dragons often come back to check on their eggs and rearrange them if something looks out of place on them.

#5: Tiny lizard pups smell with their tongues!

The cutest little lizard, the red-eyed crocodile skink
Baby lizards have a special organ that allows them to smell with their tongues.

©DWI YULIANTO/Shutterstock.com

Did you know that lizards' noses aren't the only thing they use to smell? They can also smell with their tongues, although they have some odor receptors in their nostril passages. This is achieved through a special organ in their mouth called a Jacobson's organ.

To smell with their tongues, young lizard pups first stick out their tongues to capture the scents in the air. They then pressed the collected pellets against the palate, where Jacobson's organ is located. This organ then sends a signal to the brain to recognize the smell.

Tiny lizard pups use their extraordinary sense of smell for more than just tracking their next meal. It is also used to find mates, avoid danger, and even communicate with other lizards.


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featured image

The cutest little lizard, the red-eyed crocodile skink

© DWI YULIANTO/Shutterstock.com

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the name of the little lizard?

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Small lizards are called hatchlings. They share this name with other reptiles such as turtles, alligators and crocodiles.

How much does a lizard weigh?

The weight of a small lizard depends on its species. For example, a small iguana usually weighs about 0.2 lbs. On the other hand, a small leopard gecko usually weighs about 3 grams.

What do little lizards eat?

Baby lizards are very independent and have a diet very similar to their parents. From birth, they eat a variety of small insects and plants.

Where does the little lizard live?

Small lizards live anywhere there is sunlight except Antarctica. Since they are cold-blooded animals, they need a heat source to survive.

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