I've been busy painting our small gate which leads
to the back of the house. On Friday, after I had
finished off with the first coat, on one side of
the gate, something caught caught my eye. Next to
the gate, on the tomato bed was a tiny lizard so
still I thought it was dead! A closer inspection
revealed that it was alive and splattered with
I picked it up and placed it on this rock. Its
left front-leg was stuck to its body. I'd never
held a lizard before but holding it was so soft
and tender that it reminded me of the underside
a dog's paws. As gently as I could I pulled away
the leg. It separated easily and did not seem to
cause the lizard any pain.
I only got one chance to photograph it. I did
wonder about the tail when I picked it up. But
the moment it realised its mobility was back it
took off like greased lightning!
And I felt good that I'd saved a life. End of story,
or that's what I thought!
Little did I know that this sight would greet me the
next day! Stuck to the gate! On fresh paint! With the
severed tail next to it! I hadn't noticed the tail
stuck to the gate...My first thought was--well, babies
will be babies! Did it think it could retrieve its tail?
Why did it come back to the same dangerous place?!
The imprints of the lizard can be seen here. Again as
gently as I could, I removed from the offending paint.
Now there was more paint on its body than before.
Placing it on my palm, I tried to peel away dried
paint, as much as I could. Most of it came off easily
and I assumed that the rest would go with time.
I placed it on this growth of Maidenhair. For a second
or so, it didn't budge. Maybe it was still under the
impression that its mobility was gone forever.
Realisation dawns...and it loses no time in disappearing
into the world it knows so well! That's the last I saw of
the paint-splattered lizard!
After this experience I read up some tail facts on the
Sometimes a lizard might eat their own tail after shedding
it. This is done in order to regain weight from losing the
Some lizards store up to 60% of their body fat in their tail.
Female lizards produce fewer eggs because their body's energy
is used to regrow their tail.
Small lizards may take a month to regrow their tail but bigger
lizards may take up to a year.
The new tail can only be shed above the point where its old tail was lost.
2 years ago