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10 Lizard Facts for World Lizard Day

Happy World Lizard Day! We love our scaly teammates, and many of you do too.

However, those in the wild need a bit of support. Climate change is considered a higher threat to cold-blooded animals - scientists believe that if we continue at the same trajectory, we could lose 20% of lizard species by 2080.

We believe that awareness and creating interest in these creatures is the first step to encouraging change. Below are 10 Lizard Facts for World Lizard Day.

1) The Basilisk is not just a mythical creature in the world of Harry Potter - they exist in real life! They don't inhabit the chamber of secrets; however, they have a rather magical ability. They can run on water! Running at high speed, scaly fringes on their toes enable this lizard to run across the water surface temporarily.

2) The North American Horned Lizard has a rather unique - if slightly intimidating - ability. They can squirt blood from their eyes! The process, called auto haemorrhaging, is utilised as a defence mechanism to deter predators (and occasionally to remove dust and dirt from their eyes).

3) There are over 6,000 species of lizard, making them the most prominent reptile family in the world.

4) The leopard gecko has a hole going through its head - but don't worry, its brain is perfectly safe!! The hole enables any sand, dust and debris whipped up by the wind (or the gecko's movement) to pass right through their head rather than collect/block their ears.

5) The Komodo dragon is the largest lizard alive and can grow up to 10-11ft in length. This lizard is one of the few dangerous lizards - their saliva contains millions of harmful bacteria, and therefore a bite from this lizard can cause death by bacterial infection.

6) Lizards can drop their tails when they feel threatened, for example, by a predator. When stressed, the muscles between the tail and the body pull away, causing the tail to detach. The tail will continue writhing around (even once disconnected) for up to 20 minutes to distract the predator, giving the lizard time to escape!

7) Some species of lizards have no legs and instead resemble snakes. For example, the UK's slow worm is not a snake but a legless lizard.

8) "Godzilla" - a Grand Cayman Blue Iguana - holds the longest-living lizard record. Godzilla reached a whopping 69 years of age.

9) Although appearing smooth and rubbery, a gecko's feet are covered in microscopic hairs, called "setae" - these hairs are what enable geckos to climb vertical surfaces.

10) A group of lizards is called a "lounge"!

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