Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Dinosaurs, Snakes, and Other Reptiles » Galliwasps Alligator Lizards and Relatives: Anguidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Alligator Lizards, Galliwasps, Their Relatives, And People - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT

Galliwasps Alligator Lizards and Relatives: Anguidae - Physical Characteristics

species tail glass legless

This family contains four groups of lizards: the glass lizards and slowworms, the legless lizards, the galliwasps, and the alligator lizards. Many of these species in the Anguidae family have bodies that are nearly all brown, but some are green, and others have stripes or bands. The glass lizards have especially shiny scales. In a few species, the males are more brightly colored than the females. Among alligator lizards that live in mountainous areas, for example, the females and the juveniles are a drab brown, and the males are bright green or yellowish green. Some, such as the La Selle galliwasp, are small and reach only about 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) in length from head to tail tip. The slowworm, on the other hand, can grow to nearly 20 times that size at 55.1 inches (140 centimeters) long.

In general, the scales of these species are thick and strong, giving them an armor-like covering. Many of the legless lizards and galliwasps have a fold on each side of the body, which allows their bodies to stretch out when they eat a particularly big meal or when a female is pregnant. Some of the species, including the legless lizards, have no limbs and therefore slither about with a twisting motion. A few, such as the Moroccan glass lizard, have no front legs but do have tiny hind legs that look like small flaps located near the vent, which is a slitlike opening on the underside of the animal. The tail in galliwasps, legless lizards, and alligator lizards is usually shorter than the rest of the body, but the tail is far longer than the body in glass lizards. In all lizards, including those without legs, the tail begins at the vent. A few species, such as the Cuban alligator lizard, live in trees and have tails that can wrap around and cling to branches and twigs. In addition, many members of this family have eyelids that they noticeably blink open and shut.

Galliwasps Alligator Lizards and Relatives: Anguidae - Diet [next]

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