Zoology with: Frill-necked lizard

Posted: December 2, 2012 in Reptiles, Zoology
Tags: , , , , ,

The frill-necked lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii), also known as the frilled lizard or frilled dragon, is found mainly in northern Australia and southern New Guinea. This species is the only member of the genus Chlamydosaurus. Its name comes from the large frill around its neck, which usually stays folded against the lizard’s body. It is largely arboreal, spending the majority of the time in the trees. The lizard’s diet consists mainly of insects and small vertebrates. The frill-necked lizard is a relatively large lizard, averaging 85 cm in length.

The frill-necked lizard is so called because of the large ruff of skin which usually lies folded back against its head and neck. The neck frill is supported by long spines of cartilage which are connected to the jaw bones. When the lizard is frightened, it gapes its mouth, exposing a bright pink or yellow lining; the frill flares out as well, displaying bright orange and red scales. This reaction is often used to discourage predators or during courtship.

The frill-necked lizard is found mainly in the northern regions of Australia and southern New Guinea. The lizard inhabits humid climates such as those in the tropical savannah woodlands.

The frill-necked lizard is ectothermic and maintains its homeostatic body temperature by basking for up to 30 minutes. This achieves an average of 2–3 degrees Celsius above the surrounding temperature. Weather conditions, including sunlight, are the main factors regulating the lizards’ temperature.This basking period usually occurs in the morning to early afternoon. During the basking period the lizard will be found near the bottom of a tree and out from under the forest canopy.

Reproduction and sexual dimorphism

The frill-necked lizard is sexually dimorphic; meaning the male and female frill-neck differ in their physical appearance. This dimorphism is apparent in the length of the lizard; the male is generally larger than the female.[7] There is little to no dimorphism in the color of the lizard. Frill-necked lizards breed in the early wet season from September to October. Adult males fight for mates, displaying their frills and biting each other. One to two clutches of 6–25 eggs are laid from early to mid-wet season from November to February. The eggs are laid in a nest 5–20 cm below ground, and usually in sunny areas. Incubation takes two to three months. Gender is partly temperature determined, with extreme temperatures producing exclusively females, and intermediate temperatures (29 to 35°C) producing equal numbers of males and females. Their eggs are soft-shelled

— article from wikipedia —

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