These armadillo lizards look a lot like dragons from “Game of Thrones.” They’re a unique little treasure. Like their name, they have an outer layer that is like an armadillo. When these lizards are in harm’s way, they curl up into a ball to protect themselves with their own built-in armor. There are many little armored lizards that like to hide in the crevices and nooks of the rocks.
They are native to South Africa and have adapted to the tough climate and predators. As a result, they’ve mastered at hiding. Like most reptiles, armadillo lizards enjoy sunbathing. However, unlike other reptiles, they do not lay eggs.
They also eat termites, small bugs, and other invertebrates, but they don’t need a lot of food to stay alive. Their populations are in jeopardy due to unlawful poaching for their similarity to miniature dragons.
Their scientific name is Ouroborus cataphractus. They are typically found in South Africa’s rocky Succulent Karoo region, where they are known as Succulent Karoos. The golden armadillo lizard is another name for armadillo lizards. While they may appear intimidating, they are actually extremely slow and gentle, They always tend to flee rather than fight upfront with a threat. These lizards are brown to light brown in hue and coated in spiky spikes.
The only area of this reptile that isn’t covered in spindles is its sensitive underbelly. When threatened, their armored bodies assist protect them. They can ball up for an hour. This unusual defense mechanism protects them from predators like snakes and mongooses. They only reach four inches in length but live for roughly ten years.
Because termite mounds are usually located far from where the armadillo lizards live, they have to travel around 60ft to find a meal. Males are naturally territorial, but during mating season, they become even more so as they compete for a female. These reptiles typically have one or two young per year, with a gestation period of six to eight months.
A female may take up to a year between pregnancies to care for her young in the rarest of situations, which is highly unusual for reptiles.
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Image Credits: herp.life