7 cool things about the frilled-neck lizard

Ever seen a frilled-neck lizard? They are peculiar looking, but very interesting. The average length of a frilled-neck lizard is 90cm and he weighs on average 600g. Let’s find out more about this creature.

 

1. Frill

The frilled-neck (or just frilled) lizard gets his name from the frill he has around his neck. It does more than just make him look weird. Its colours can vary depending on what kind of food the lizard has been eating. For example, orange indicates that he has been eating carotenoids, like carrots, while a white or yellow frill implies a lack of pigment cells.

 

2. Diurnal

This lizard is diurnal, which means he is active during the day. It is easier for other lizards to see their different-coloured frills and to spot predators during the day. If the male lizard wants to show off to a female, she can also see his different colours better in the daylight.

 

 3. Arboreal

Árbol is Spanish for ‘tree’, and frilled lizards are arboreal creatures, meaning that they primarily spend their time in trees, where they are safe from predators. However, they do come down to the ground to feed from time to time. This is when the frilled lizard is at his most vulnerable.

 

4. Not just a pretty face

The frill of the lizard has a few functions. It helps him blend in with his environment – the different colours act as camouflage and help the lizard ‘disappear’. The frill also impresses the female lizard (he can show off his beautiful colours to her) and deters other males who are pursuing the same female. Finally, the frill can be used as a defence mechanism to scare off potential predators. The lizard also hisses if the frill alone does not work.

 

5. Bicycle run

If you have never seen one of these lizards run, I suggest you look for a video online and watch it to see how funny they look when they do. This lizard looks like he is riding a bicycle when he runs. He lifts up his front legs and runs solely on his hindlegs. His legs make a full circle so that it looks like he is riding a bike. This lizard sometimes runs with his frill and mouth open.

 

6. Hot stuff

The frilled lizard lives primarily in Australia where the temperature can reach up to 50°C – which is very hot for any animal. But the frilled lizard is equipped to handle the heat. He can raise his internal body temperature to above 40°C.

 

7. Famous

Did you know that one of the dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park movies was inspired by the frilled lizard? The frilled lizard looks so cool and so interesting that a big and famous movie franchise used him as inspiration for their films! He must be very proud of himself.

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