Solomon Island Skink

The largest skink species, the Solomon Island skink is unique among skinks for its arboreal and herbivorous lifestyle. It uses its muscular legs and sharp claws to climb trees as a prehensile tail grasps branches and limbs while foraging for leaves at night.

Quince Monitor

Only known to science since 1997, the quince monitor’s wild habits remain mysterious. In zoos, they swim and dive readily, suggesting that they may be found in swamps as well as forest. With sharp claws, the quince monitor is also a good climber.

Komodo Dragon

Emerging from its burrow, a Komodo dragon starts out the day with a soak in the sun. Then it sets off on a hunt for food, perhaps a deer or wild pig. With its belly full, the lizard takes a break during the midday heat before the search for supper begins.

Madagascar Giant Day Gecko

Madagascar giant day geckos blend in among the leaves as they lie in wait for small prey such as insects, crabs, scorpions, and spiders. They will also eat fruit and lick honey. Condensation on leaves provides drinking water.

Knight Anole

Large adhesive toe pads enable the anole to climb smooth vertical surfaces, a helpful adaptation for an animal that lives in the tops of trees. Knight anoles are native to Cuba and have been introduced to Florida.

Green Tree Monitor

Specialized for an arboreal lifestyle, the green tree monitor’s slender body and long claws enable it to lie along slim tree branches without slipping. It also holds on by wrapping its long, prehensile tail around a tree branch. While most monitors are solitary, the green tree monitor hangs out in small groups.

Crocodile Monitor

While the Komodo dragon may be the largest lizard, the crocodile monitor holds the title of longest lizard, thanks to a tail that is twice as long as its body. In addition to providing balance, the crocodile monitor’s long tail can be used like a whip to defend itself.

Blue Tree Monitor

Scientists describe newly discovered species of monitors still today. The blue tree monitor, for example, was only just discovered in 2001 on the small Indonesian island of Batanta. Very little is known about its natural history.

Bearded Dragon

This heavy-bodied lizard is named for the frilly beard of spines around the base of its jaws. It is most active during the day and often suns itself on rocky outcrops where it has a good view of its surroundings and potential predators. When threatened, it runs and hides in deep rock crevices.

Beaded Lizard

The beaded lizard is one of only a few species of venomous lizards. Named for its bead-like bumpy texture, the beaded lizard uses its venom to paralyze its prey. The venom is injected through its grooved teeth by repeated biting.