The Common lizard



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Artist's Description

Latin name: Lacerta vivipara

Size: Usually between 10 and 15cm long including tail.

Distribution: Found throughout the UK.

Months seen: March to October.

Habitat: Grassland, heathland and sand dunes.

Food: Small insects and spiders.

Special features: The common lizard is also known as the Viviparous Lizard. They can often be found lying on stones or logs in the sunshine, because they need the heat of the sun to warm their bodies. This makes them more active, and able to hunt for their food. Common lizards are also good swimmers.

Click for a better viewThe common lizard is mainly olive-green coloured with black, brown and yellow markings

The female common lizard is viviparous. This simply means she retains fertilised eggs inside her body until they are almost ready to hatch. This helps to keep the eggs warm. When the time is right she lays the eggs, and within seconds the young lizards hatch out. The smooth snake, the adder and the slow worm are also viviparous.

Did You Know?
Common lizards have an amazing way to escape capture from predators. If caught by the tail, they simply snap it off at a joint near the base, leaving the predator holding just the tail. The lizard can grow a new tail… if it lives long enough.

Artwork Comments

  • jdmphotography
  • PrincessVicki
  • George Lenz
  • Jennifer Potter
  • Rick  Friedle
  • JohnYo
  • naturelover
  • Michelle *
  • KMorral
  • brirose55
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