Some Common Lizard Myths and Misconceptions (New 2022)

Many modern reptile keepers are highly knowledgeable consumers who have conducted online research on the pet lizard they are about to acquire. Several popular shows devoted to reptiles and amphibians worldwide help educate the general public about these rare and exotic animals. Unfortunately, there are still some myths and misconceptions about lizards, which we hope to dispel in this article.

One of the most prevalent misconceptions among newbie reptile enthusiasts appears to be that all giant lizards are Komodo Dragons. With their enormous size and infamous name, Komodos seems to be the King Kong of Monitor Lizards. The reality is that only zoos are permitted to house, display, and breed Komodo Dragons. Each one is owned by the Indonesian government, which strictly prohibits public access to these endangered creatures. They are found on five Indonesian islands, where they attract many tourists and provide a significant portion of the local population’s income. Although the Indonesian Water Monitor is a close relative of the Komodo Lizard and can grow to be quite large, these animals are not protected and are frequently the source of the misconception.

Another myth about lizards for sale in captivity is based on the Central American Caiman Lizards. These vibrantly colored cousins of the Tegu Lizard have an overall plated body that resembles their South American Caiman namesake. They reach a manageable adult size of four feet and are typically found in Paraguay, Peru, and Colombia on or near tree branches overhanging rivers. Caiman Lizards in captivity are calm and easy to handle, despite their razor-sharp teeth used to capture and crush their prey, including snails, fish, and invertebrates. Additionally, they can be fed canned food, frozen snails, ground turkey, or a monitor and tegu diet.

Another myth is that all lizards can regenerate their tails, but this is a somewhat perplexing ability for some lizards and geckos and an impossibility for others. Most geckos, iguanas, and tegus possess the remarkable ability to regenerate a body part, whereas their close relatives do not. Although the regenerated tail will never look exactly the original, it is functional and superior to a stump. Some animals may develop a forked or branched tail if the damaged area is not entirely severed.

While many questions about Lizards and their habits and habitats have been answered through the diligent work of researchers and breeders worldwide, there are still several intriguing facts to be discovered in the future. As always, do your homework and learn about the specific needs of the pet lizard in terms of diet, lighting, habitat size, and longevity before making a purchase.

Reptiles are extremely popular. Mochi, the bearded dragon, has surpassed 1.8 million views on YouTube. Meanwhile, Chris Pratt is singing to his bearded dragon as he walks it on a leash, and he is just one of the numerous celebrities who own reptiles as pets. It’s self-evident that keeping reptiles as pets have grown in popularity over the last few years.

However, many people oppose these animals’ ownership as pets. Their concerns range from reptiles endangering public health to snakes being too cold to love. Why do reptiles have such a bad reputation?

Diseases transmitted by reptiles

While critics of reptile pet ownership frequently assert that reptiles are disease-ridden, the risk of infection is often much lower than people realize. This fear may result from salmonella outbreaks in humans nearly half a century ago: In the 1970s, turtles became a popular pet, and reptile-borne salmonella cases increased significantly, accounting for approximately 11% of all human subjects.

Salmonella is more likely to be acquired in North America through the consumption of animal products. In the 1990s, education campaigns and legislation resulted in a significant decrease in reptile-borne salmonella, accounting for less than 6% of cases.

However, because a close examination of reptile-related illnesses in humans has only been conducted up to the early 2000s, public health data may change as reptiles gain popularity.

While diseases are frequently cited to avoid pet reptiles, pet mammals such as dogs and cats have been linked to various health problems, including rabies and asthma. Despite the risks to public health, society accepts these dangers (rabies is incurable and fatal).

Companionship and escapism

Another frequently leveled criticism is that reptiles do not make good pets. This belief is based on the perception of reptiles as lumbering, uninteresting creatures. However, this is not the case.

There are some fantastic examples of reptile dexterity. For instance, basilisks can run on two legs for more than 20 meters on the water’s surface, and crocodiles can delicately move their babies and eggs without damaging them with their massive jaws. Certain lizards can solve food puzzles, and tortoises and bearded dragons can use cues from other members of their species to expedite problem-solving tasks, which are unique to birds and mammals.

While affection is more difficult to prove scientifically, tests have shown that some tortoises (likely depending on their personality) prefer having their shells scratched by familiar humans over food or toys when given a choice.

Protection of reptiles

Apart from the dangers to humans, owning a reptile poses a threat to the animals themselves. While there is no evidence that snakes have a worse standard of living than other pets, it is easy to find misleading and contradictory information online. Owners with the best intentions may keep reptiles in substandard conditions, resulting in various preventable health problems.

Because reptiles are ectothermic (cold-blooded), reading their body language can be challenging, making it difficult to determine when they are in distress. Snakes can frequently withstand more severe health conditions than mammals. In the end, this means that reptiles can be neglected for months, if not years.

Fortunately, some reptile welfare groups on social media are trying to collect and disseminate the most up-to-date reptile care standards. Herpetologists — those who study reptiles and amphibians — constantly refine the best practices for reptile husbandry and evaluate reptile welfare.

Abuse of reptiles

Outdated attitudes toward reptiles, which are frequently fueled by misguided distrust, can cause actual harm by perpetuating reptile mistreatment. For instance, one of the most heinous reptile-related practices is perhaps the annual rattlesnake rodeos held in the southern United States.

Rattlesnakes are typically captured in the wild and held for eight months without food, water, or routine cage maintenance. If the snakes survive this process, they are taken to the rodeo and physically beaten, taunted, stomped on, or hastily decapitated while still conscious.

The way snakes are treated at these events would elicit widespread outrage if to any other mammal or bird — so why is it acceptable for a reptile?

Defending reptiles

Perhaps by properly owning reptiles as pets and dispelling myths about them, we can increase public awareness of their cognitive abilities and appreciate their unique appeal.

Though frequently overlooked, reptiles make excellent pets. Many owners are enchanted by their stoic beauty, while others find endearing even the most mundane behavior. With the proper education, owners can care for a pet reptile for many years while maintaining the animal’s and owner’s health.

Pet ownership may inspire positive change for reptile welfare, putting an end to inhumane practices and advancing conservation goals for one of the most underfunded and understudied animal groups.

Given all this, perhaps it is time for us to extend some affection to our cold-blooded companions.

See Also: https://madisonherps.org/kickstart/en/wisconsin-reptile-resources/education-articles/104-reptile-and-amphibian-myths-and-misconceptions.

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People also ask - FAQ

In terms of pet lizards, the Gecko is one of the most popular. They have some very interesting traits! One of the unique things about the Gecko species is that they don't have eyelids. Another reason they can climb trees is that their toes are unique. This is not the only thing that Geckos and chameleons have that is unique.

What's Bad About Having a Lizard as a Pet? Lizards have a lot of different personalities and have very specific physical and social needs. Many people have serious and painful health problems if they don't get enough calcium. These include metabolic bone disease caused by a lack of calcium, mouth rot, respiratory disease, abscesses, and ulcers.

As far as humans and reptiles go, some do seem to enjoy having company from time to time. During a pet, a tortoise that likes to be petted might stick its neck out or close its eyes and stay still and calm. Lizards are the same way. Reptiles may like being near people, says Dr.

The fact that lizards are cold-blooded doesn't mean they can't have personal relationships with people. Scientists have found that iguanas know who their handlers are and greet them differently than strangers.

Lizards can cut off their tails... Chameleons can change color! Geckos have tiny hairs on their feet. ... All the lizards can swim. Because it is so small, it is called Jaragua. The Komodo dragon is the largest lizard. Lizards have cold blood. Lizards love to eat bugs.

Are lizards good? But lizards can be a lot of fun to have around. As long as you give them the basics, like heat and UV light, they can live for a long time as a fun addition to your home.

Yes! Reptiles are more sensitive than we give them credit for when it comes to emotions. Just remember to stay away from anthropomorphizing your reptile and instead focus on the species' natural instincts and behaviors.

There are many different colored oil droplets in the photoreceptors of lizard (including geckos) and turtle (including terrapins) retinas. It is because of this "calibration" of the opsin proteins in the cones of the eye that we can see in different wavelengths.

There has been a slew of recent studies demonstrating that reptiles have the neurotransmitters and anatomical components necessary to register pain. To survive in the wild, they may have simply adapted to hide their pain.

Snakes and lizards are the most common reptiles that people are afraid of. This relatively common specific phobia can vary greatly in severity, making it difficult to determine whether you have a clinical phobia or simply a fear without the guidance of a mental health professional.

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