Monday, February 25, 2008

A Lizard Tale

When I got home from work today, the girls wanted to go out in the back (Saren has discovered that there is a feral cat living [occasionally] beneath our porch, and has decided that she is going to capture it.), so we all went out there.

Harper and Irina played on the swing set, I started sweeping the porch, and Saren went over to the side of the porch to see if she could see the cat.

A few minutes later, Saren announced that she had 'found a lizard'. !!

The next thing I know, my oldest daughter had a small brownish lizard in the palm of her hand.

I quickly came inside and got Steph's camera, then went back out and took a picture of the animal.
Lizard on her arm

We were laughing about it as it crawled up her arm and onto her shoulder... and then not laughing so much as it made its way into her hair. Ack!

Holding her hair back out of the lizard's path, Saren was able to grab a hold of it and get it back in her hand. She said, "It's shaking!" (Probably from fear, but maybe the cold?) And then, as she was getting ready to put it back on the ground, she said, "Eww!" and dropped what I thought was the whole animal. But when I glanced closer, I could see that it was just the tail. Still squirming.

The body and the tail had separated [I just looked it up, and it was most likely a Cope's Leopard Lizard, since the site I saw stated that 'when threatened, it will exhibit "freeze" behavior, and is capable of caudal autonomy(tail separation).] Nifty! Saren had dropped both parts of the lizard, but I had only seen the tail fall.
When we looked down, though, we could eventually see both the lizard body (sitting on the side wall of the porch, noticeably breathing, but not moving away from us) and the tail (in the dirt, twitching nonstop).

Saren had read that sometimes certain lizards lose their tails when frightened, which I had read before too. Here was proof that those texts were telling the truth!

Steph was still inside on the computer, so I picked up the twitchy-tail, and brought it in to show her. She took some video of it on her camera, although we haven't uploaded any of it, so I'm not sure how well it turned out and here's a picture of it.
Discarded Lizard Tail

Eventually we returned the tail to the dirt and said good-bye to the little reptile.


Anonymous said...

Dude. That is awesome, and kind of gross.

Anonymous said...

Very cool stuff, man. Lizards rock.


Amy said...

I wonder if, instead of saying "Don't lose your head" a lizard would say, "Hey man, don't lose your tail."

Amanda said...

What a cool thing to witness! Plus, now you have an awesome accessory. Still trying to decide whether it would look better as a necklace pendant or an earring.

CosmicAvatar said...

Cool. We had geckos sharing our various abodes when we were living in the Middle East (handy for catching insects), and they used to drop their tails too.

Hahah, never thought of doing what the other Amanda suggested, though!