The Australian Frilled Lizard
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The Australian Frilled Lizard

The frilled lizard is a unique lizard of Australia capable of spreading out a flap of skin around its neck to intimidate predators.

The frilled lizard, also known as the frilled dragon, is a unique lizard native to the continent of Australia, such that its main intrigue lies in its frill around its neck, which it spreads out when confronted in order to assume an intimidating posture. To complement this singular mechanism of intimidation, the frilled lizard will raise itself to its hind feet, open its mouth wide and hiss, all the way flicking its tale about. If however the aggressor remains unfazed by this, the frilled lizard will resort to sprinting away to safety, with both mouth and frill wide open. The frilled lizard’s intriguing frill is also implemented as the typical male’s tool for courting with the opposite sex as well as a way to regulate its own body temperature while basking under the sun.

the frilled lizard, before opening up its frill

The frilled lizard before opening up its frill

the frilled lizard after opening up its frill

The frilled lizard after opening up its frill

The frilled lizard can measure around 24 to 40 inches in body length and weigh as much as 1 kg. Its frill is noted to spread out as much as 30 cm in diameter. The frilled lizard is also clocked to have run on its hind feet at a speed of 48 km/hr.

the frilled lizard running

The frilled lizard running

The region where a frilled lizard is found is the primary determinant of the lizard’s colour markings across its body. For instance, those found in Queensland sports a shade of yellow dappled with black and white markings, while those in the Northern and Western regions of Australia are found to be brick red with patterns of yellow and orange on the frill.

frilled lizard of queensland

The Frilled Lizard of Queensland

The frilled lizard’s primary diet includes insects such as cicadas and ants, spiders, rodents, small lizards. It is hunted mostly by the native raptors such as owls and wedge-tailed eagles, snakes and dingoes.

Female frilled lizards normally lay in an underground burrow around 8 to 23 eggs. Upon hatching, which usually takes about 8 to 12 weeks, juvenile frilled lizards are observed to be capable of hunting by themselves and use their frills without much hassle.

More fascinating points about the Australian frilled lizard:

1. Though it sports five toes on each foot, the frilled lizard is observed to leave footprints of their three middle toes, thus suggesting the vestigial nature of the other two.

2. The frilled lizard is featured on Australia’s 2 cent coin.

3. To stave off excessive loss of water, the frilled lizard is covered with impermeable scales.

4. Male frilled lizards differ from the females such that they are much brighter, not to mention larger, than the opposite sex.

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Comments (1)

I wonder if there are several species or because there is only one