Monday, March 14, 2016

Lucy the Uromastyx

We have a new addition to our live animal family, say hello to Lucy! She is a Uromastyx, also known as a Spiny-dabb lizard. In the wild these lizards live in the northern deserts of Africa as well as the Middle east. These lizards are vegetarians, eating seeds, dried fruit, and greens.

The name Uromastyx is greek for "Whip Tail." The reason they got that name is because they use those spines on their tail almost like a Stegosaurus would, to whip in defense and those spines are sharp! Their tail is their line of defense, they will also hiss and open their mouth to show you their little teeth. It that doesn't work they also use their speed to get away from a potential threat.

They like it hot! They do fine in temperature rising above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. They don't like temperatures cooler than 80 degrees! They are active in the day and sleep in their burrows at night with their tail at the entrance to dissuade an attacker.

Uromastyx come in so many varieties of species and colors, ranging from drab tans and browns to beautiful reds, yellows oranges, greens, and even blues! They range in size from 12 inches to 36 inches, that is three feet! Lucy is likelky a Saharan Uromastyx (Uromastyx geyri) which are found in Mali, Niger and Algeria. Lucy will grow to about 14 inches and weigh 220-270 grams.

Females are generally less colorful than males, males like to show off just like a peacock. Males also have longer claws and spines, likely for fighting purposes. This is what a male would look like compared to Lucy. Look at that color!

Females lay 5-40 eggs, depending on the species, Lucy would lay around 8-10.

In some parts of the middle east these lizards are eaten for dinner!

Like many lizards their colors change due to their temperature. A Bright lizard is a hot lizard!

Lucy is getting ready to be used for shows. You should be seeing her in live animal shows in the next few months. We are excited to have her and look forward to you all being able to meet her!

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