Legless lizards. Species of legless lizards

Legless lizards. Species of legless lizards
Legless lizards. Species of legless lizards

The world of wildlife is so beautiful that, knowing, it would seem, a huge number of species, families, classes of animals, insects, fish, reptiles, birds and seeing their extraordinary uniqueness, we still will never be able to know everything about them. By studying some, humanity misses the emergence of new specimens, while exploring others, it loses outdated rare representatives.

The variety of reptiles always staggers the imagination of the layman. The number of lizards on the planet, according to scientists, exceeds 4000 known and more or less studied species. Of these, 3500 is the most significant and widespread group, which consists of about 300 genera and 20 main families.

So, legless lizards are amazing representatives belonging to the reptile family of the order called scaly.


Lizards of this species lack hearing openings. The bone-forming plates located under the scaly surface of the skin are quite fragile and poorly developed. There are no limbs at all. The eyelids are very mobile, the eyes themselves are small. The jaws are rigidly connected. No temporal arch.

legless lizards


The main place of existence indaily life for them is sandy soil. Here, under the ground, lizards seek food for themselves, break through passages in the ground, and breed. They practically do not go to the surface of the earth, preferring a “dark” and cozy house.

Inhabited in the conditions of the predominance of soil over vegetation, they do not suffer from a lack of food. Being inside the earth, or hiding under stones, they quickly react to the movement occurring on the surface. And thanks to the quick reaction to grab the planned "lunch" is not a big deal.

variety of reptiles

What do legless lizards eat

"Legsless" are predators. Their diet is rich in various insect larvae, earthworms, arachnids and invertebrates of other orders.

legless spindle lizard


Leggless lizards give birth to about 4 small babies in one oviparous birth. The ability to bear offspring occurs in them at 2, 5 - 3 years, at the age of full sexual readiness.

legless yellowbell lizard

Evolutionary and biological development of the species

The most ancient species of lizard found in India is the Indiana Tikiguania Estesi. Its age at the time of discovery was almost 220,000,000 years. Scientists came to the conclusion that the remains of the lizard can be attributed to the 3-4 period of development of the late type. The place where such a species was first found is considered a historical artifact formed by the natural combination of late soil layers.

Legless lizards of late periods of phylogenesiswere not found. In historical development, only large individuals were able to survive.

Types of legless lizards

Lizards, like snakes, belong to the well-known zoology scientific class - "reptiles". However, their pronounced external similarity does not at all speak of natural identity. First and foremost, snakes tend to have the ability to release venom. In lizards, it is often absent, with the exception of rare species of large representatives. The amazing variety of reptiles poses difficult tasks for science. However, over time, experts still cope with them.

One existing genus includes two main species:

1. California legless lizard.

2. Jeronim legless lizard.

Due to sometimes indistinguishable resemblance to dangerous snakes, these species of lizards suffer greatly. People, not understanding the nature of reptiles, kill them without much pity.

The California lizard has a body length of about 20-25 cm. The color of the body is usually slightly brown or greenish-smoky. There are dark narrow lines on the back and sides.

In the forest belt of the European zone of the Russian Federation, including in the nature of the Caucasus, a legless lizard is often found. In the southern part of the country, the legless yellow-bellied lizard (grouse) is common. The two above reptiles lack limbs. Movement on the surface of the earth occurs due to the ability of the body to twist. The torso and head are firmly connected, the interception in the neck is completely absent.

The legless spindle lizard useseat insect larvae, earthworms and small molluscs. Thanks to sharp teeth and a rigid jaw structure, it reliably clings and holds prey, while eating it slowly. The spindle will always be able to get any mollusk out of the shelter, no matter how far it hides. The lizard carefully crawls into the shell, gradually eating the prey from the inside, from beginning to end.

Yellowbelly is one of the largest legless representatives.

Another legless lizard belongs to the genus called Sepsophis. This species was discovered back in the 70s of the 19th century in one of the states of India.

California legless lizard

How to tell a lizard from a snake?

The legless lizards that exist in the world cause many doubts in people, which are often misunderstood. Historical stories of religious origin say that once all snakes had legs, but for their deeds on Earth they were doomed to eternal damnation, which made them crawl and crouch. According to this myth, it was then that snakes lost their legs forever. The most interesting thing is that most evolutionary biologists agree to some extent with the opinion that the snake reptile really had legs. Only here the loss of limbs, in their opinion, is, first of all, a fact caused by the evolutionary movement of the process of natural selection. As a result of which being without legs has become a great virtue, helping to successfully exist within the framework of nature for a long time. For example, vipers have no limbs at all, but simplespecies of snakes in the pelvic region, you can see small processes with small claws, outwardly resembling underdeveloped legs.

In addition to the above, I would like to define criteria by which it will be easy to distinguish a legless lizard from a snake:

1. Eyelid mobility. Snakes have static eyelids, lizards have dynamic eyelids.

2. Neck belt. In a lizard, the constriction is almost impossible to determine, but in a snake it is visible to the naked eye.

Please note that, despite the ease of determining the genus, you should not take reptiles of an unknown species into your hands. Your own safety and excessive caution often saves you from going to the hospital.

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