Interesting facts about monkeys, tails and geckos and lizards

More animal facts to lighten up your week with #DidYouKnowFridays and Animaltalk.

Did you know?

There are a variety of reasons why animals have tails. Monkeys, for instance, use their tails to grab and to hold onto something, like a branch. When animals use their tails as an extra limb, it’s called a prehensile tail. Other animals, like cattle and horses, use their tails to swat flies and other irritating flying insects – hence the name swatter tail. Most animals use their tails to keep their balance, while some use their furry tails to keep them warm. Dogs use their tails to communicate with us and other animals, and hippos use their tails to scatter their poo to mark their territory. But imagine being able to lose your tail, like a lizard, to distract predators. Luckily, the lizard can grow a new tail.

Did you know?

Monkeys riding on their mother’s back is not only reserved for monkeys, but many other primates as well. When the babies are born, they are too weak to walk and run with the troop, or to climb trees. Their mothers need to carry them until they are strong enough to hop onto her back, where they then hold on to her. As the babies grow older and stronger, they have to walk and run by themselves. Then, there are no more free rides.

Did you know?

A gecko and a lizard look very alike, but if you know the differences, you’ll be able to tell them apart. Geckos are nocturnal, meaning that they’re awake at night. They hide in wall cracks, crevices, trees, rockeries and garden walls. Geckos have large eyes with no eyelids, and they use their tongue to lick their eyes clean. Their toes have adhesive pads (scansors) which help them to ‘stick’ to smooth surfaces. These cute critters can make complex sounds – squeaks, clicks, growls and barks. Their tails make curling movements in territorial fighting. They grow to between 7.5 and 15cm and live up to five years.

Lizards signal to intimidate rivals or attract mates with body postures, mouth gaping, tail wagging and push-ups. They live in a wide variety of habitats – from treetops to below ground. Some lizards are brightly coloured, and they are active by day. Lizards are sit-and-wait carnivore hunters and the smaller lizards mainly eat insects. Their skin sheds in pieces as they grow, and they must bask in the sun to gain heat to be fully active. These critters’ tongues can be extended outside the mouth.

Lizards are found in deserts, near the ocean, at the Arctic Circle and equator.


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