ABN 48 898 846 641

 

Dragons

Dragons are the image of what most people perceive to be a lizard. They are very bold and alert reptiles often taking rather exposed positions with an air of arrogance about them. They have small non overlapping scales, generally of a dull appearance and often have enlarged scales or spikes or horns giving them a studded appearance and they may be moderately coloured when breeding. They have moveable eyelids rather than protective scales and broad fleshy tongues. They are generally terrestrial but may be partially arboreal and some are even semi aquatic, hence the name water dragon. They have primarily insectivorous diets with some species substituting flowers and vegetation. Ants in particular are a staple diet for several species.

Most dragons are fast moving with well developed legs, some species also run fastest when on two legs. They will run quickly away if disturbed, some run for cover, others up trees and some into the water, others may hold ground and use threatening bluff tactics such as gapping mouths and puffed up throats or just camouflage, stillness or stealth.

The only Australian reptile to be a national emblem is worth a particular mention; the Frill-necked lizard which can grow close to a metre in length. I have photographed many of this species but have never been able to get one to raise its frill. Generally they initially freeze, but when they realize you are on to them they will run on hind legs to the nearest tree and climb; that pretty much ends the encounter as they climb high and quickly. The tail is very long at least 65% of the entire length.