This iconic lizard is both striking and quiet in equal measures. This is a quick introduction to frilled dragons. Have a look at these amazing Frilled Lizard Facts below!
Frilled dragons, like many other lizards, have an insect-based diet. They also occasionally eat rodents and small reptiles. However, mealtime can be dangerous.
There is a lot more to learn about these wild lizards. Let’s get started with Frilled Lizard Facts!
Frilled Lizard Facts
1. They’re TREE DWELLERS.
The semi-arid forests of northern Australia and southern New Guinea are home to frilled dragons. If you know where to look, you can spot them easily. The frilled dragons can be seen from far away by their tendency to rest their necks against a tree trunk at a 45-degree angle. The Dragon will rest its chin against the bark to conceal a predator.
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2. UNFURLED, THE FILL CAN BE FOOT WIDE.
Frilled dragons, like many other lizards, have an insect-based diet. They also occasionally eat rodents and small reptiles. However, mealtime can be dangerous. Although they prefer to spend their time in trees, hunting is usually done on hard ground where there is a higher risk of them being hunted. A dragon’s instinctual first instinct in danger is to run towards the nearest tree or stay still. If neither of these options seems like an option, the reptile will fight back with a powerful tool: deception.
The frilled Dragon’s name is derived from its twin frills, which flare when anything invades its personal space. This bluff should make the lizard appear twice its actual size. Adult frilled dragons can reach 33 inches from nose tip to tail tip. However, their feet-wide frill makes them appear larger.
Our Dragon can hiss and rear up on its two legs to enhance the performance. Some people don’t believe this charade. The lizard will fly if the big show does not scare off the audience.
3. OPENING A FRILL REQUIRES OPENING A MOUTH.
The hyoid bone anchors your tongue. It is a small, u-shaped structure that sits atop Adam’s apple. Two are common for frilled dragons. They are rod-like and long. A dragon can contract or expand its frill by flexing the muscles connecting these hyoids. It cannot make the frill-opening movement and can also expand its jaws.
4. They’re sometimes called “BICYCLE LIZARDS.”
It’s a cute name that was inspired by how frilled dragons run. The reptiles zip in a wide, circular motion by gliding on their hind legs.
This is a common behavior in saurians. Rex. The basilisks of Central America and South America are sometimes called “Jesus Christ Lizards” due to their ability to stand and run over bodies of water.
Why is it that lizards, like frilled dragons, prefer to run over cruising on their fours? In 2008, an international research team established a reptile gymnasium. The team collected 16 types of semi-bipedal dragons, including one frilled Dragon. The team then placed the subjects on mini treadmills.
These workouts were captured on video and revealed some surprising results. The bipedal running style uses less energy than its quadrupedal counterpart. Many of the tested species could accelerate on two legs better than on four. A quick step is crucial.
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5. AUSTRALIAN CURRENCY IS USED FOR FEATURE-FRILLED DRAGONS.
The 2-cent coin was introduced in 1966 and remained in circulation through 1992. The front featured Queen Elizabeth II’s profile. On the back was a frilled dragon whose tail curled and mouth open. These coins were a massive collector’s item in Japan. The coin’s sales soared from 20,000 to 33,000 per day after the Japanese TV advertisement featuring the lizard in the mid-80s. 2-cent coins were selling for 43 cents (100yen) each.
6. The FRILLS ARE AVAILABLE IN MANY COLORS.
Queensland lizards have yellow-colored frills. However, those who live in Western Australia or the North Territory have orange and red ones. Thomas Merkling, Australian National University (ANU), says that certain insects have pigments that can change a lizard’s frill color. Appendages that are regularly ingested prey will turn darker.
Vibrant colors may offer an advantage in combat, not only because they look great. Researchers from Macquarie University (MU) and ANU examined many fights between male dragons in 2013. In 90% of the disputes, the winner was the lizard with a brighter frill. Martin Whiting, the MU biologist, said that traits like frill size, head, and bite force didn’t predict the contest outcome. “Instead, males with brighter frills and more colorful frills were more likely than others to win and take home gold.”
7. IN VICTORIAN TIMES, DRAGONS WERE OPERATED INTO A EVOLUTIONARY DEBATE.
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), also known as “Darwin’s bulldog,” was an avid defender of evolutionary theory. He was a respected anatomist and one of the first to suggest that birds and reptiles might have a connection.
Johan Ludwig Gerard Krefft (1830-1881) was Huxley’s supporter. Johan Ludwig Gerard Krefft (1830-1881) was Huxley’s supporter.
Huxley asked another scientist for further investigation. Huxley’s recruit was marine biologist William Saville–Kent (1845-1908). Saville-Kent examined the behavior and anatomy of the lizard and concluded that it was not bird-like. This disappointment was much to his surprise. History has proven Huxley wrong. A tsunami of evidence suggests that feathered friends descend from the most famous reptiles: The dinosaurs.
8. NEST TEMPERATURES DICTATE THE SEX OF UNBORN HATCHLINGS.
Eggs kept at 26°C are more likely to produce female babies than eggs that are constantly exposed to temperatures of 29°C. However, clutches continually exposed to temperatures of 29°C will produce both males and females equally. Biologists call this phenomenon temperature-dependent sex determination or TSD. This is something that many reptiles, including alligators and red-eared sliders turtles, have to deal with.
9. FRILLED DRAGONS ARE A PART OF A VERY DIVERSE GROUP.
The agamids include more than 350 species, and they come in almost every shape and size you can imagine. The flying Dragons, which have elongated spines and special skin flaps, are a good example. They glide effortlessly between trees. The spikes are the devils of Australia. They are burrowing, color-changing ant-gobblers. You may see a group of large, semi-aquatic omnivores called sailfin Lizards in the Philippines. Pet shops around the globe now carry the highly-popular bearded Dragon. These tiny creatures will expand a pouch under their throat to protect themselves from danger. Captive-bred “beardies,” often docile, tend to be very docile.
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10. THEY INFLUENCED ONE OF JURASSIC PARK’S MUTANT DINOSAURS.
Never underestimate the power of a genetically modified dinosaur. After destroying the electric fences in Jurassic Park’s Jurassic Park, Dennis Nedry (played here by Wayne Newman from Seinfeld) is rescued by a poison-spewing Dilophosaurus. The beast reveals an enormous, retractable frill just before it attacks him. This is very similar to the attributes of an Australian lizard.
There is no evidence that Dilophosaurus, or any other dinosaur, had such an apparatus. Despite the inaccuracies in Jurassic Park, the original naming of this animal in 1954 was not a problem. Sam Welles, a paleontologist, said that it was a great thrill to see Dilophosaurus acting as an actor. Although he acknowledged that the neck vertebrae of the dinosaur would not have been compatible with a frilled dragon-style jacket, Welles dismissed this criticism as minor. He said that he enjoyed the film thoroughly.