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Do Lizards Have Trouble Breathing when on Their Backs?

Discussion in 'Help *General*' started by Darkbird, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Well do they? Or is this just a bunch of the usual facebook nonsense? I'm well aware of the issues with tortoises and turtles being on their backs, but in 20 years of keeping reptiles have never heard of it being an issue with lizards. Might be something about their anatomy I was unaware of, but then it's not like I go flipping my lizards on their backs all the time or anything. Or ever.
  2. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Not something I do personally but watching bluegenes for the past few years I'd have a hard time believing it hurts them. Bluegenes sleeps upside down all night long, and spends half the day upside down while doing his laps around the tank, screen lids being a superhighway and all :p

    I'd love to see documentation on it being bad for them, and to why they do it to themselves...

    Now I only see this behavior in small lizards and can't comment on larger species.
  3. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I can't say that most lizards would want to be on their backs.
    Now it seems that monitors like to sleep in all kinds of precarious positions however and for someone reason their feet don't let go when sleeping.
    I've noticed this is not the case for Uros.
  4. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Well, what got this started was the video of the person tickling their uro's side until it rolled over and then they just kept doing it to it's belly while the uro kept batting at their fingers. One of the few times I've ever learned anything while on facefail, this is apparently a submissive response from mating behavior. But there were a ton of people saying that they also couldn't breath properly when upside down, which didn't make sense to me just from my own experience with goofy sleepers. But rather than getting into a ****ing match with a bunch of internet know it alls, I came here. I'm just not aware of anything in lizard anatomy that would support this, but I'm no expert on anatomy either.
  5. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    I have heard the same thing about lizards being upside down being dangerous, but I also always chalked it up to internet nonsense. I have no idea if its true or not it just always sounded implausible
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I was told years ago that it does cause them trouble. Lizards lacking a diaphragm. This is the reason that one can turn a lizard on its back and hold it for a few seconds and the lizard ceases to struggle and lies motionless.
  7. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    I just recalled a bit about a critter learning an evasive maneuver but knocking the lizard onto it's back, causing a default paralysis/mental-reset/ can't remember... The upside down critter would relax by default for just a second allowing it's prey to escape.

    Wish I could remember what it was all about. But it is also seen in many other animals wet and dry.

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