Agamids are a widespread, diverse iguanian lizard group that I have a special fondness for and consequently have featured several times on Tet Zoo (see links below).
Time for more Australian agamids, or amphibolurines, or dragons, whichever you prefer. Last time round, we looked at the water dragons, Moloch and a few other taxa, meaning that all thats left to get through is the remainder.
What with all the monitor-themed goodness around these parts lately (see links below), it seems only fitting that I provide a re-vamped, substantially updated version of this Tet Zoo ver 2 classic (originally published in September 2007).
In recent articles I've made an effort to review the skinks of the world and today - it's a momentous occasion - we see the last part of this series.
Skinks (properly Scincidae… though read on) are one of the most successful of squamate groups, accounting for approximately 1500 species - in other words, for about 25% of all lizards.
There's been a bit of a monitor lizard thing going on here for the past few months: articles have covered Australian goannas, the Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis, Dumeril's monitor and Timor and Peachthroat monitors, and the `prasinoid' tree monitors.
I'm feeling the urge to blog about lizards. So, today I'd like to talk about the Aprasia species, a group of short-tailed, near-limbless gekkotans that belong to the Australian Pygopodidae family, the so-called flapfoots, flap-footed lizards or pygopods.
I said in the previous Tet Zoo article on monitor lizards that I really wanted to cover the prasinoids; that is, the arboreal tree monitors of New Guinea, Cape York Peninsula and various of the islands surrounding these areas.
My plan was to get something else finished for Tet Zoo before Christmas but, alas, that just wasn’t possible. So here’s this… And for those of you who want to see more detail, here are enlarged versions… And for all of you Squamozoic fans who need a labelled version… For more on the Squamozoic go [...]
Once again, I have squamate guilt. For a while now I’ve been planning to discuss the lacertid lizard fauna of Europe (or, the European Field Guide Region, or Western Palaearctic, or whatever).
Everybody loves monitor lizards, or varanids. And there is so much to learn about, and to appreciate, in these remarkable, charismatic, complex, sophisticated lizards that scientists across many disciplines are being encouraged to study them and lo to make remarkable discoveries.
Here are some amazing things that me and my friends have been talking about lately. They all concern fascinating discoveries or insights into unusual aspects of tetrapod behaviour.
Over the last several days a consortium of people interested in herpetology, weird animals, animal lore, and special effects have worked together to help resolve an incredible and bizarre `mystery'*.
A female Yellow-spotted monitor Varanus panoptes excavates what appears to be a shallow, decoy nest burrow after completing work at the spiralling burrow near her tail. Image courtesy of Colin McHenry, used with permission.
Today we're here because of the lacertid lizards, the Old World clade that includes Eurasian wall lizards, green lizards, fringe-toed lizards and a great number of less familiar species groups that rarely get much attention outside of the specialist literature.
While in Romania back in 2011, I photographed the lizard you see here. It's clearly a lacertid: a member of the Eurasian-African group that contains the familiar Lacerta sand lizards and green lizards as well as many other groups.
I like iguanian lizards – who doesn’t? Among the enormous number of taxa that you hardly ever hear anything about is the endemic Argentinean taxon Leiosaurus, type species of Leiosauridae.
I said a while back that I intended to make some overdue headway into the diversity of lacertid lizards: Lacertidae being the clade that includes many of the more familiar, conventionally ‘lizard-shaped’ lizards of Europe, Asia and Africa.
There have never been enough amphisbaenians on Tet Zoo. In fact, the only time I've written about them at any sort of length is in the 2008 (and 2012) April Fool's article wherein they were convincingly (cough) shown to be the true ancestors of mammals.