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Tegus Whiptail Lizards and Relatives: Teiidae

Crocodile Tegu (crocodilurus Lacertinus): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The tail of a crocodile tegu is very long and stretches twice as long as the rest of its body. It also has pointy scales that stand up in a row like those on a crocodile's tail. Adults are mostly greenish brown or brown with a whitish or yellow underside. Their legs have some orange spots. Adults grow to about 19.7 inches (50 centimeters) in length from head to tail.

Geographic range: They are found in South America in the area surrounding the Amazon and Orinoco rivers.

With its crocodilelike tail, the crocodile tegu is an excellent swimmer. (© Jany Sauvanet/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: Crocodile tegus wander in the woods and swim in streams.

Diet: They eat almost any insect or spider they can find on land or in the water.

Behavior and reproduction: With its crocodilelike tail, the crocodile tegu is an excellent swimmer. Females lay eggs. Scientists know little about its other behaviors or its reproduction.

Crocodile tegus and people: Humans and crocodile tegus rarely see or bother one another in the wild.

Conservation status: This species is not considered endangered or threatened. ∎



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Web sites

"Great Basin Whiptail." California Living Museum. http://www.calmzoo.org/stories/storyReader$81 (accessed on November 5, 2004).

"Lizards of Wisconsin: Special Tricks." Environmental Education for Kids, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/ce/eek/critter/reptile/lizardsOfWisconsin5.htm (accessed on November 5, 2004).

McFarlane, B. "Cnemidophorus sexlineatus." Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Cnemidophorus_sexlineatus.html (accessed on November 5, 2004).

"Prairie Racerunner." Environmental Education for Kids, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/critter/reptile/prairieracerunner.htm (accessed on November 5, 2004).

"Six-Lined Racerunner." Davidson College Biology Department. http://www.bio.davidson.edu/Biology/herpcons/Herps_of_NC/lizards/Cne_sex.html (accessed on November 5, 2004).

"Unisexual Whiptail Lizards." American Museum of Natural History. http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/expeditions/treasure_fossil/Treasures/Unisexual_Whiptail_Lizards/lizards.html?50 (accessed on November 5, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesTegus Whiptail Lizards and Relatives: Teiidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Six-lined Racerunner (cnemidophorus Sexlineatus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, TEGUS WHIPTAIL LIZARDS THEIR RE