frilled lizard

Frilled lizard

  Reptiles and amphibians

frilled lizard

Identity card

frilled lizard

Scientific name:
Chlamydosaurus kingii
Family:
Agamidae
Class:
Reptile
Phylum:
Chordata
Year of description:
Gray, 1825
IUCN Status:
Least Concern
Distribution:

Lives in northern Australia and Southern New Guinea

Habitat:

savannahs and in tropical and warm temperate forests.

Size:

The frilled lizard typically measures between 80 and 90 cm for males and about 60 cm for females.

Diet:

Caterpillars, cicadas, beetles, ants, grasshoppers and small lizards

frilled lizard
 

S. Spielberg drew inspiration from this lizard and to create the Dilophosaurus for Jurassic Park.

Did you know?

The frilled Lizard is sometimes difficult to spot: like squirrels, it hides by circling around tree trunks to avoid being in the field of vision of its potential predator.

It comes down to the ground to hunt: it drops from its tree, catches its prey and then climbs back up to eat it. It feeds mainly on insects and small lizards.



This species is oviparous. Breeding takes place during the rainy season. The female then lays around a dozen eggs that it buries in the ground to protect them from predators. The incubation period lasts about 70 days.

Where is the animal to be found?

This lizard is an emblem of Australian fauna and is a tree-dwelling animal named after the frill it bears.



This lizard is an endemic species: it only lives in Australia and southern New Guinea. The frilled lizard lives in tree savannahs and in tropical and warm temperate forests. It spends most of its time on tree trunks, shrubs and in trees.

How can it be recognised?

Its colouring can vary depending on where it lives. Its body can be grey, brown or orange-brown. The bottom of its frill can be orange, yellow, black or grey. Its tail is two thirds of the total length of its body.

This lizard gets its name from its coloured frill, called a "chlamydia", which can be over 30 cm in diameter. Normally, this frill sits on the back of his neck and forms a sort of cape. It seems that it contains a lot of blood and that it plays a role in regulating its body temperature.

The frilled lizard typically measures between 80 and 90 cm for males and about 60 cm for females.

What is distinctive about it? 



The frilled lizard is the only member of the genus Chlamydosaurus.

The frilled lizard has an olfactory organ called the Jacobson's organ. This unique feature is what allows it to perceive the different smells in its environment.



It is also known as the "Australian dragon". And for a very good reason! When it feels threatened, it spreads its frill, opens its mouth wide and stands up on its hind legs to intimidate its opponent. It can then make whistling noises, strike the ground with its tail and even charge at its enemy. This is actually a bluff to make it look dangerous: this Australian lizard is in fact quite fearful and harmless. "This lizard is very agile and fast. It will always prefer fleeing to confrontation. If it fails to intimidate its opponent, it will change its method and flee by standing on its hind legs and using its tail as a "stabiliser"."



This species is oviparous. Breeding takes place during the rainy season. The female then lays around a dozen eggs that it buries in the ground to protect them from predators. The incubation period lasts about 70 days.

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