10 facts about geckos, the world’s most species-rich lizard

May 7, 2017 5:47 pm Last Updated: May 7, 2017 5:47 pm

There are 1,500 species of geckos in the world, making it the largest species of lizard. This means there is plenty of gecko trivia:

1.They are found on every continent except in Antarctica (and reside in warm climates) and range from about half an inch to 2 feet long.

2. Most have no eyelids. Instead, they will often lick their eyes to keep them clean and moist.

3. They’re vocal creatures, and make all sorts of noises from chirps to clicks in order to socialize with other geckos.

Here’s a newly hatched gecko screaming:

4. Many geckos can shed their tails as a defense mechanism (called autotomy). And then sometiems they will come back to see if the tail is still there, and maybe eat it—because they store nutrients in their tails for when food is scarce.

5. About 60 percent of geckos have unique toe pads that allow them to climb vertically, or even across ceilings. They also have a gland that allows them to secret and absorbs liquids, helping with adhesion to surfaces.

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6. Geckos come in a wide variety of patterns and colors and some can even change their colors, or become lighter at night. Many are colored to blend in neatly with their habitats.

Masters of disguise:

7. Geckos shed their skin a lot, and more frequently if they have regular access to water. Some geckos try to speed up the process by eating the dead skin off.

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8. Geckos vary in shape a lot too! The “Flying Gecko” has webbed feet leaf-like patterns so it can blend in and jump from tree to tree, gliding through the air and landing softly. There are also some species of geckos with only hind legs (which they do not use). They look a bit like snakes but do not have forked tongues or external ear holes.

9. Most species of gecko are nocturnal, and have eyes up to 350 times more sensitive to light than ours.

10. Gecko eggs take 40 to 60 days to hatch.

A curious little gecko coming into the world:

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