The dragon-like Gliding lizard

Gliding lizard draco volans The dragon like Gliding lizard

The amazing-looking gliding lizard looks like a miniature dragon!

This amazing looking creature may appear to be a miniature dragon, but is actually a gliding lizard. These lizards use their wings to fly from tree to tree which enables them to quickly get away from predators. Oddly enough, the wings are just a very well rearranged rib cage. By elongating their extended movable ribs, spanning the large flap of skin between their limbs, these arboreal reptiles can glide distances of over 60 meters.

gliding lizard on tree The dragon like Gliding lizard

A Gliding lizard on a tree

Interestingly, these living hangliders have a small set of flaps on their neck that serve as a horizontal stabilizer and a rudder-like tail to steer. Different species of gliding lizards may occur together because of differences in flight anatomy which separates them ecologically. Light species with big wings have a lot of maneuverability and live closer to the ground, while in contrast heavy and more robust species live mostly high up the tallest trees since they need a lot of speed for their wings to open up.

Although these fascinating lizards have great areal skills, most of the day they run up and down trees feeding on ants. Furthermore, their wings are also used to attract a mate. By showing off their vibrantly colored wings, the territorial males try gain attention of a female.

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Jolle Jolles

Written by Jolle Jolles

Jolle Jolles is a zoologist working at the University of Cambridge with a love for natural history and animal behaviour and enjoys fascinating others about our weird and wonderful natural world. Follow Jolle on Twitter or sent him a personal message.