Lizards that come… From a Different Angle


Images by Wayne Bisset

There are over 100 different genera and approximately 1,000 species of geckos that live in the wild around the world.  Although this family of nocturnal reptiles is large, there are even more species within the broader family of lizards. Although they are closely related, there are several physical traits that make it easy to distinguish geckos from other types of lizards. Most geckos have the ability to climb trees, and do so using tiny sticky pads that act as small suctions and are located on the bottoms of their four feet. Geckos also have longer toes that help them grasp the surfaces of tree bark and branches; their toes are covered with tiny hair-like extensions that help them scale uneven surfaces.  Bet you did not think your glass window pane was uneven! Geckos have shorter and broader heads than many lizards, and also have short and stubby tails, in contrast to the long and narrow tails found on other lizards.

The most interesting thing about them though is: Geckos also differ from other reptiles because they are the only lizards that have a voice box. Geckos can communicate with one another by using chirping noises that sound like small bird chirps.

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