Viviparous lizard Facts

Viviparous lizard Facts
Viviparous lizard, also known as common lizard, is a reptile that belongs to the group of lacertid lizards. Viviparous lizard can be found in Europe and Asia. It can survive on the far north, including the areas near the Arctic Circle. Viviparous lizard inhabits mostly dry areas, but it can be also found in wetlands, gardens, meadows, swamps, rice fields, rocky areas and tundra. These lizards can survive on the altitude of up to 9 800 feet. Number of viviparous lizards decreased in the past couple of decades due to habitat destruction. Luckily, these animals are still numerous in the wild. Viviparous lizard is not on the list of endangered animals.
Interesting Viviparous lizard Facts:
Viviparous lizard can reach 5 to 6 inches in length.
Upper part of the body is usually grey brown or dark brown colored. Black markings, bordered with white or yellow, can be seen on the dorsal and lateral sides of the body.
Color of the belly depends on the gender. Males have yellow or orange bellies covered with black spots. Females have yellowish grey bellies without dots.
Viviparous lizards of both genders can be completely black. In that case, males can be identified by slender body, large head and swellings at the base of a tail.
Viviparous lizard has round head and short limbs. Tail is two times longer than the rest of the body.
Viviparous lizards hibernate from September-October until mid-February. They sometimes gather in large groups and hibernate under log piles or under the ground.
Viviparous lizards bask in the sun during the autumn and spring to increase their body temperature and ensure adequate motility of the body. Body temperature can rise 15 degrees of Celsius (and reach optimal 30 degrees) when lizard spends enough time on the sun.
Viviparous lizards are carnivores (meat-eaters). Their diet consists of insects, spiders, worms and snails.
Viviparous lizards grab the prey using their jaws and shake it until death. They swallow their victims in one piece.
Main predators of viviparous lizards are foxes, cats, hawks, crows and large reptiles.
Mating season of viviparous lizards takes place from April to May.
Male uses his jaws to grab the female and test her readiness to mate. Female responds with fierce bite in case she is not interested.
Female gives birth to 8 to 11 live babies in July. Pregnancy lasts 3 months. Baby lizards develop in the eggs inside the mother's body, hence the name - viviparous lizard. Viviparous lizards are dark brown in color at birth.
Males reach sexual maturity at the age of two years, females at the age of three years.
Male viviparous lizards can survive up to 7 years in the wild. Females usually live four years longer than males.

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