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Leopard Gecko Introduction

An Introduction To Leopard Geckos

Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius) Introduction

Leopard Gecko Introduction

Welcome to the Leopard Gecko Introduction. The purpose of this section is to give you a brief look into what a leopard gecko is, and what sets it apart from the other geckos. As with all animals, there are defining characteristics that make each gecko species unique.

Geckos are a diverse and adapting species. The family Gekkonidae is comprised of many different geckos that occupy different habitable locations. From harsh dry deserts, to lush moist forests, geckos can be found almost anywhere. Their ability to adapt to their surroundings has made the gecko a flourishing reptile.

Each different species of gecko carries with it different traits that distinguishes it from the other gecko species. Each species is grouped together based on these traits, and this is what has become to be known as "taxonomy". The leopard gecko is not an exception.

Leopard geckos belong to the subfamily eublepharinae. They are the eyelid geckos. This is the only group of geckos that have functioning eyelids that can close. All other gecko species possess eyelids that are fused open and are unable to blink. The eyelid geckos are the most primitive geckos of this family.

Another physical characteristic that helps define the leopard gecko among other species is lamellae. Many species of gecko have the ability to climb walls and run up glass. The leopard gecko can not. Leopard geckos are a terrestrial species that lack lamellae. You can learn more about lamellae here: Lamellae.

Leopard Gecko Introduction Being a terrestrial species, lamellae simply isn't needed. Instead, leopard geckos are equipped with small sharp nails extending from the end of each digit. These nails allow the leopard gecko to dig and climb about small rocks and jagged surfaces with ease.

One of the most noted physical characteristics of the leopard gecko is its tail. A healthy leopard gecko will carry with it a large, plump tail. This tail is where the leopard gecko stores its reserve fat supply. In their native environment, climatic changes can provide and take away food sources regularly. During the times when food is scarce, leopard geckos will draw on the fat supply they have stored in their tail to get through these periods.

Leopard Gecko Introduction An interesting fact to note about the tail is that it is capable of being dropped. Leopard geckos are an autotomous species. When a leopard gecko finds itself the victim of a predator, they can force their tail to fall off. The tail that has just been dropped will wiggle around and keep the predators attention while the rest of the gecko makes his way to safety. This ability is called autotomy.

The tail of a leopard gecko that has been cast off will grow back. This process is referred to as regeneration. The regenerated tail of a leopard gecko will never look as attractive as the original, but it will still function as the first tail and will continue to store fat.


Author: Richard Brooks