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Draco lizard

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Draco lizard
Dracovolans.jpg
Scientific Classification
Species

Draco is a taxonomic genus of lizards that have the ability to glide using flaps on the side of their bodies. This ability has been mistaken as true "fly", but just like the flying squirrel, the duration of the glide is limited by their initial elevation. They are native to the rain forests and wetlands of southeast Asia, the Philippine islands, and Borneo.

Anatomy

A sketch of a Draco lizard. This specific species is called Flygdrake ugglan

Draco lizards can reach up to 13 inches for the males and females reaching up to 11 inches(largest being the Blanford gliding lizard).[1] Draco lizards are noted for their "wings" which in actuality are not wings, but are actually flaps of skin that are supported by elongated ribs. These "wings" enable Draco lizards to glide from tree to tree. Draco lizards are characterized by having dark spots all over its body. Most Draco lizards have a dewlap that is colored bright yellow and females have a bluish, gray dewlap that is generally smaller than the male's dewlap.[2] A dewlap is the skin on the bottom of an animal's chin.[3]The wings of the male Draco lizard are blue on the ventral area and brown in the dorsal area, but the wings of the female Draco lizard are yellow on the ventral side.[4] The body of the Draco lizard is very much like that of their other Agamid brethren.

Reproduction

The reproduction cycle of Draco lizards are shrouded and unclear, but it is observed by some specialists that the cycle usually occurs during the months of December and January. Males and females both perform mating rituals such as the spreading of their wings and the bobbing motion of their bodies. Males will usually erect their dewlaps and encircle the female before they begin copulation. Before the female lays the eggs she builds a nest by poking her head into the dirt. After that, she puts the eggs into the hole and covers them with dirt and guards them for twenty-four hours. After those twenty-four hours, she no longer continues protecting the eggs forever. The eggs are then incubated for thirty-two days, in which after those thirty-two days, the young Draco lizards emerge from their eggs and enter the world.[5]

Ecology

Draco lizard

Draco lizards are native to Southeast Asia, the Philippine islands, and Borneo. [6] Most of the genus resides in the low wetlands and rubber plantations of Asia the Philippine islands, and Borneo. Their size can reach up to thirteen inches.[7] The diet of the Draco lizard genus mostly consists of small insects and other small invertebrates. [8] They are arboreal insect eaters, which means that they get their food from catching insects that live on trees.[9]

Gliding

An interesting characteristic and obviously the most notable is their ability to "fly". In actuality, the Draco lizards do not actually fly, but they actually glide. These "flying" lizards are very much like "flying " squirrels because they are both mistaken to "fly". To glide, they use their large skin flaps that are supported by out branching ribs and spread them out, then they take advantage of the wind and glide upon the wind to get to their desired location.[10]

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