Top 10 Weirdest Lizards
Welcome to our list of the world’s Top 10 Weirdest Lizards! We’ve done our research and assembled this list in personal opinion. If you know of a super weird lizard that should be on this list, please comment below!
10. Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink
Despite having a weird yet cute appearance, the Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink performs some unusual behaviors. They’re one of the few lizard species that vocalize when they’re in distress. They’re also notorious for fainting or playing dead, even when being held!
9. Thorny Dragon
Also known as the “Thorny Devil” this weird lizard is literally covered in spikes, even more so than the north American horned lizard. The weird thing about this lizard, besides the armor of spikes, is they present a false head. When threatened, the thorny dragon tucks its head between its legs and shows a false head! If that fails, most predators will have a hard time swallowing all those sharp spikes.
8. Gila Monster
The Gila Monster is riddled in mystery. While it’s colors and humble appearance may seem attractive, the gila monster produces a special “venom.” The Tohono and Pima indians believed this lizard possessed spiritual powers. They believed it’s breath could bring death and it’s hide had healing powers. While that may not be the case, it’s venom actually produces “Exendin-4” which has recently been approved by the FDA to be used in drugs that treat type-2 diabetes.
This weird lizard is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to staying alive. It’s exterior is equipped with horns or “spikes” to help ward off predators and it’s coloration is perfect for blending into rocky terrains. Should a predator still choose to attack, the horned lizard runs in very quick, short bursts then stops suddenly to throw off anything chasing it. Last but not least, a horned lizard can squirt blood from its eyes in a last-ditch effort to throw off it’s attacker.
6. Flying Gecko
There are 6 special of flying geckos (aka “Parachute” geckos). Not only are they covered in some of the best camouflage in mother nature, they can climb, hang upside down and even FLY! Ok, they technically don’t fly, they glide. These lizards can glide up to 200 feet. As the flying gecko prepares to land, it executes a “swoop” for a softer landing.
You’ve probably seen this little guy before. Known as the “Jackson’s Chameleon,” it’s easy to see why we’re calling this a weird lizard. It sports 3 horns, crab-like hands, a curly tail which is used for wrapping around small branches and twigs and the ability to change it’s color to suit the environment. There are over 160 types of chameleons, yet this one sticks out among the rest.
4. Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko
The Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko arguably has the best camouflage in the reptile world. They have a dermal flap which runs the length of their body. When positioned correctly, the edges of the flap contrast with the edges of its environment, giving a shadow effect which helps blend in with their background. Aside from their dermal flap, their coloration and flaky appearance is perfect for matching their surroundings.
3. Dwarf Chameleon
Located in the northwest coast of Madagascar, the “Madagascan dwarf chameleons” are pretty weird given their incredibly small stature. Their maximum length, including their tail, is 1.3 inches. Much like its larger cousins, the chameleon, it’s coloration is adapted to blend in to leaves, bark and twigs. It spends the majority of its life 100+ yards off the ground, living close to the tree tops.
Closely tied for first place among the weirdest lizards in the world, the Frilled Lizard looks like something straight out of Jurassic Park. They sport a circular flap of frills around their neck, which is used during mating rituals and as a defense mechanism. They are such an iconic lizard, they were once featured on the Australian two-cent coin (which is no longer in circulation). Perhaps the weirdest or funniest habit these lizards perform is running. When they are on the move, they run on their back two legs, letting their upper legs flap in the wind.
1. Armadillo Girdled Lizard
This is one of the weirdest, yet coolest lizards in Africa. As you can see in the picture above, they’re covered in spiky scales which help them blend into their environment; Shrubs and rocky areas. An interesting feature of the Armadillo Girdled Lizard is it’s ability to form a circle, revealing it’s sharp, spiky scales. They do this when they’re frightened or threatened by a predator. By rolling into a ball they increase their chances of surviving an attack as they quickly become unappealing or hard-to-eat. This is a very weird behavior!