A frill-necked lizard in a reptile display
The frilled-neck lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii ), also known as the frilled lizard, frilled dragon or frilled agama, is a species of lizard which is found mainly in northern Australia and southern New Guinea. This species is the only member of the genus Chlamydosaurus.
Its common name comes from the large frill around its neck, which usually stays folded against the lizard's body. C. kingii is largely arboreal, spending the majority of the time in the trees. The lizard's diet consists mainly of insects and small vertebrates. The frill-necked lizard is a relatively large lizard, averaging 85 cm (2.79 ft) in total length (including tail) and is kept as an exotic pet.
Because of its unusual appearance, it is a popular subject in animation
Scientific classification :
British zoologist John Edward Gray described the frill-necked lizard in 1825 as Clamydosaurus Kingii, from a specimen collected by an expedition conducted by Captain Phillip Parker King from the HMS Mermaid.
The generic name (Chlamydosaurus) is derived from the Ancient Greek Chlamydo (χλαμύς) meaning "cloaked" or "mantled" and saurus (sauros) meaning "lizard". Its specific name is a Latinized form of Phillip Parker King's last name. It is the only member of this genus.
King's specimen was obtained by his ship's botanist, Allan Cunningham at Careening Bay off the Northwest Coast of Australia.
In the Jawoyn language of the Katherine area, it is known as leliyn.
The frill-necked lizard is a relatively large member of the agamid family, growing up to 85 cm (2.79 ft). It is capable of bipedal locomotion and has been described as regularly moving in this manner with a purposeful stride at times by naturalists.
Coloration tends to be brown or gray with spots and blotches of darker colors mixed in a mottled fashion to give the appearance of tree bark.There is not one standard colour: rather, colouration varies according to the lizard's environment. For example, a lizard found in a dryer, clay filled environment will most likely have a collage of oranges, reds, and browns; whereas a lizard found in a damper, more tropical region will tend to show darker browns and greys. This suggests they are adapted to their habitats; their colors are a form of camouflage.
The most distinct feature of these lizards is the large ruff of skin which usually lies folded back against its head and neck. The neck frill is supported by long spines of cartilage which are connected to the jaw bones. When the lizard is frightened, it produces a startling deimatic display: it gapes its mouth, exposing a bright pink or yellow lining; it spreads out its frill, displaying bright orange and red scales; raises its body; and sometimes holds its tail above its body. This reaction is used for territorial displays, to discourage predators, and during courtship.
The bones of the frill are modified elongate hyoid types that form rods which expand the frill. Secondarily the frill can serve as a form of camouflage when relaxed; there is no standard coloration to the body, but it is usually darker than the frill.
The frilled-neck lizard is ectothermic and maintains its body temperature by basking briefly to achieve an average of 2–3 °C above the surrounding temperature. Weather conditions, including sunlight, are the main factors regulating the lizards’ temperature. This basking period usually occurs in the morning to early afternoon to ensure maximum exposure to sunlight. However, the lizard's final internal temperature depends mainly on the ambient temperature of the surrounding environment. The lizard's frill was once thought to aid in thermoregulation, but this has been found without merit.
Reproduction and sexual dimorphism
The frilled-neck lizard is sexually dimorphic; meaning that there are physical differences between male and females. This dimorphism is apparent in the length of the lizard; the male is generally larger than the female.
Distribution and habitat :
The frilled-neck lizard is found mainly in the northern regions of Australia and southern New Guinea. The lizard on rare occasions is found in the lower desert regions of Australia but primarily inhabits humid climates such as those in the tropical savannah woodlands.
It tends to be an arboreal lizard, meaning it spends a majority of its time in the trees. The lizard ventures to the floor only in search of food, or to engage in territorial conflicts. The arboreal habitat may be a product of the lizard's diet, which consists mainly of small arthropods and vertebrates (usually smaller lizards). However, the trees are most importantly used for camouflage.
Frill-necked lizard in natural environment, showing camouflage
Like many lizards, frill-necked lizards are carnivores, feeding on cicadas, beetles, termites, and mice. They especially favor butterflies, moths and their larvae. Though insects are their primary source of food, they also consume spiders and occasionally other lizards.Like most members of the agamids (dragons), frill-necked lizards employ an ambush method of hunting, lying in wait for their prey.When the lizards eat, they eat in abundance; these binge periods usually occur during the wet season, when they ingest hundreds to thousands of alate (flying) ants or termites.
There is little to no dimorphism in the color of the lizard.
Cryptic pose on termite mound in the Northern Territory
The species' main predators are eagles, owls, larger lizards, snakes, dingoes and quolls.
In culture :
A frill-necked lizard was featured on the reverse of the Australian 2-cent coin until 1991. A frill-necked lizard, known as "Lizzie," was the mascot for the 2000 Paralympic Games. The emblem of the Australian Army's Regional Force Surveillance Unit, NORFORCE (North-West Mobile Force) of the Kimberleys and Northern Territory is the frill-necked lizard.
Because of its unique appearance and behavior, the frill-necked lizard is commonly used in film and television. A frill-necked lizard named Frank appears in the Disney film The Rescuers Down Under. In the film Jurassic Park, the dinosaur Dilophosaurus was portrayed with a fictional neck frill, which was raised during attack, similar to that of a frilled-neck lizard. The movie generated an increase in demand for frill-necked lizards as pets. In the CGI animated film Blinky Bill the Movie and so the animated television shows of The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill Jacko a frill-necked lizard wears a black t-shirt voiced by David Wenham and Akmal Saleh.
Chlamydosaurus kingii from Narrative of a Survey Volume 2, by Phillip Parker King, 1827.
For the external links , refrences click here to read the full wikipedia article
Frill-necked lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii)
Other Websites :
Venom Hunter: Frilled Lizard on the Attack
Meet the Bicycle Lizard | National Geographic
Undoubtedly, one of the quirkiest sights in nature is the gangly retreat of an Australian frilled lizard. When this unique creature feels threatened, it rises on its hind legs, opens its yellow-colored mouth, unfurls the colorful, pleated skin flap that encircles its head, and hisses. If an attacker is unintimidated by these antics, the lizard simply turns tail, mouth and frill open, and bolts, legs splaying left and right. It continues its deliberate run without stopping or looking back until it reaches the safety of a tree.
Frilled lizards, or "frillnecks," are members of the dragon family that live in the tropical and warm temperate forests and savanna woodlands of northern Australia. They spend most of their lives in the trees, but descend occasionally to feed on ants and small lizards. Other menu items include spiders, cicadas, termites, and small mammals.
They vary in color and size from region to region. On average, the larger adults reach about 3 feet (0.9 meters) from head to tail and weigh up to 1.1 pounds (0.5 kilograms).
Their main predators are birds of prey, larger lizards, snakes, dingoes and feral cats. They are currently not threatened or protected, but habitat reduction and predation in some areas, particularly by feral cats, is affecting their populations.
Females lay 8 to 23 tiny eggs in an underground nest, and hatchlings emerge fully independent and capable of hunting and utilizing their frill. Their lifespan in the wild is unknown, but specimens in captivity have lived 20 years.
Frilled Lizard Range
Fast Facts :
Average life span in captivity:Up to 20 years
Size:3 ft (0.9 m)
Weight:1.1 lbs (0.5 kg)
Did you know?
Besides defense, this lizard's colorful frill may be used to help regulate body temperature.
Relative:Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man
Further Reading :
by Les O. Tekcard (Author)
- Facts About The Frilled Lizard: The Frilled Dragon (A Picture Book For Kids) (Volume 39) Paperback – May 21, 2016
by Lisa Strattin (Author)
by Andree Hausschild (Author), Hubert Bosch (Author)
- THE FRILLED-NECK LIZARD Do Your Kids Know This?: A Children's Picture Book (Amazing Creature Series) (Volume 81) Paperback – March 19, 2017
by Tanya Turner (Author)
Many books you can find in the Internet based libraries and bookshops like Amazon.com ( Click Here ) ..
But first look for the best prices at Book Finder.com