Flying lizards (draco) Facts

Flying lizards (draco) Facts
Draco, also known as flying lizard or flying dragon, is a reptile that belongs to the family Agamidae. There are 31 species of flying lizards that can be found in South and Southeast Asia (Philippines, Borneo, India, Malaysia, Indonesia…). Flying lizards live in tropical rainforests. Habitat destruction negatively affects number of flying lizards in the wild. Luckily, population of flying lizards is stable and they are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Flying lizards (draco) Facts:
Flying lizards are not very large animals. They can reach up to 8.1 inches of length including the tail.
Flying lizards are often very colorful. They can be red, blue, brown or orange in color. Body is often covered with different patterns. Colors and patterns of their bodies match with the environment and provide camouflage.
Lower side of the wings is differently colored in males and females. It is blue in males and yellow in females. Scientists use this fact to easily identify gender of the lizard.
Flying lizards have a flap of skin, called dewlap, below their necks. It is used as a stabilizer during the "flight". Dewlap is differently colored in males and females: brightly yellow in males and grayish blue in females.
Ribs of flying lizards are elongated and able to extend and retract. They are covered with folded skin. Extended ribs combined with unfolded skin create wings that are used for gliding through the air.
Flying lizards have slender tail which is used for steering when the animal is gliding through the air. Flying lizards are also able to flatten their hind legs to ensure smoother flight.
Flying lizards cannot fly like birds. Instead, they glide from tree to tree using the air pockets (wind currents).
Flying lizards can glide up to 190 feet in the air, but they more often "fly" distances of 30 feet.
Flying lizards are insectivorous animals (insect-eaters). They feed on ants and termites.
Flying lizards have adapted to the life on the trees. They can find food and avoid potentially dangerous predators when they are high above the ground. Males stay on the trees their entire life.
Flying lizards are very territorial. Male occupies several trees and fiercely defend his territory against other males. On the other hand, he readily shares his territory with few females.
After successful mating female leaves the safety of the tree to lay her eggs on the ground.
Female digs a hole in the ground to lay between 1 and 5 eggs. She will stay and protect her eggs 24 hour. After that period, eggs will be covered with dirt and left on their own.
People in Philippines do not hunt flying lizards because they believe these animals are poisonous. This is a false belief.
At the moment, lifespan of flying dragons is unknown.

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