Combining reality and fantasy is challenging but fun. I’ve always been fascinated by the way nature quickly and quietly takes over abandoned buildings enhancing their beauty and interest. Here I’ve used one of my beautiful daughters as the subject.
Today we saw a lizard in our little garden. She was very active and very healthy. But, a year ago we found one in our cantina. She wasn’t very well at all. We christened her ‘Little LIZZIE Lizard’.
Read on to find out what happened.
Yesterday we found this little lizard in our cantina and it wasn’t very well. We called it Little Lizzie Lizard!
She looked so thin and lifeless and so dull that we were really afraid she would die but we were determined to do our best and try to help her. First we needed to find out some facts about lizards. We have shared them and the story of Little Lizzie Lizard below.
Lizards belong to an animal class called REPTILES.
Reptiles (with a few exceptions) are cold-blooded animals which lay eggs. They have a backbone, four legs and are covered in scales. Lizards can be found all over the world except at the North and South Poles.
Can you guess why?
There are over 3,000 different types of lizards and they come in all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes! The smallest measures a tiny 7cms whereas the largest, the Komodo Dragon can reach lengths of 3 metres.
Lizards have four legs each with five little toes and they are very fast runners and very good at climbing. They also have a very long tail part of which can detach itself if a predator grabs hold! The lizard then grows another one!
They are insectivores which means that they eat only insects but some of the larger ones are carnivores and eat small animals,
Most lizards live in trees or under rocks and are more active at night. During the day they like to sunbathe!
Well, it has something to do with the fact they aren’t found at the North or South Poles !!
Do you know what the climate is like at the poles?
Yes! Ice and snow and VERY cold.
You and I and all mammals like dogs and cats and rabbits and mice and horses are warm bloodied which means we are able to control our body temperature. To keep it the same even when the temperature outside changes. But reptiles and that includes lizards, are cold bloodied which means that they can’t control their body temperature. So they need to sunbathe to warm up!
This is why our little lizard was so poorly when we found her. She had been locked in a cold underground room with no sun and was very, very cold. She was also very dehydrated which means her body was lacking in water and dehydration is very serious. We couid tell she was poorly because she was so happy to be handled and that is NOT normal. The poor thing hadn’t the energy to run away!
We had to warm her up and re-hydrate her which means we had to make sure she drank some water. We held her near a bowl of water and were really pleased because she started to lap it up !
Then we found a nice big bowl and popped her in with a shallow bowl of water and then we put it in a nice warm spot outside but not in direct sunlight because it is VERY hot here at the moment. We also gave her a little box just in case she wanted to hide!
Then we left her in peace but kept checking every hour.
After about four hours Lizzie Lizard was looking very different. More alert and a much better colour ! So we put a few ants and maggots into the bowl to tempt her to eat. The DOG BISCUIT was not for Lizzie Lizard! It was just a quick way to catch some insects and transport to the bowl !
That was a good sign Lizzie was feeling normal again.
It was time to let her out !
And that’s what we did!
It was such a great feeling to have helped an animal back to health and to return it to the wild.
Unfortunately. Not many people love spiders which is a pity because they work very hard keeping down the pesky insect population. Try looking at them differently and begin with making a fun one for Halloween. It will only take about ten minutes and the kids can help.
Above: A ‘Cup and Saucer’ web
Remember our Little Lizzie Lizard? (See previous blog post).
She looks a bit small compared with this one doesn’t she? But then Lizzie is a typical European lizard and they don’t grow very big. These lizards are found in much hotter places like Africa and Asia. We filmed this one in Singapore.
It is a Monitor Lizard and they DO grow very big! (Although a few are very tiny)
They do, however share some of the same characteristics as Lizzie Lizard. They are cold bloodied, have a scaley body, a partly detachable tail which will regrow and they lay eggs.
Unlike Lizzie, however, they are carnivorous and eat fish and insects and birds and small mammals.
Most are completely harmless but the Komodo Dragon (the largest Monitor lizard) has a weak venom (poison).
They are also very good swimmers! (Click on the link below).
There is an old story (a legend) about monitor lizards which says that they are a sign that crocodiles are near by!
We didn’t see any in Singapore! This story probably came about because these lizards stand on their hind legs to check if any predators are near.
Here’s a short clip of a monitor lizard: