Photo credit Zelimir Cernelic., CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Hey kids, welcome back to our series on the mysteries of created kinds!
This week we’re heading to South America to look for a large kind of lizard. There are enough species and enough members of each to find them in most countries of South America.
These lizards have a varied diet consisting largely of insects, but also of plants.1 Ants are a primary source of food for at least some species, while others prefer flowers.2 In other species, leaves are the preferred food.3 The diet varies based on habitat and species preference.
Like all lizards, this kind needs to warm itself up in the sunshine. To do this, many species like to inhabit rocky outcrops and use the rocks for basking.4 Some species also live in intertidal zones, using the rock pools to hunt for food.5 The most important way these lizards get heat is from the substrate, so habitat choice matters!6
When threatened by predators, these lizards can lose their tails to distract their pursuers.7 They also have a special gland to send chemical signals that they likely use to communicate with one another.8
Many species in this kind are sexually dimorphic, either in color or in body shape, with males generally being more colorful and thin.9 In some species, males and females are roughly the same size.10 The females can lay anywhere from two11to six eggs.12
Has anyone figured it out yet? This week is hard just because this kind does not show up on nature documentaries much. This week’s kind is the Tropiduridae, a group of lizards without a common name, though some genera have common names.
Try out this fun word search!
Your clue for the next week is:
This kind is a rodent that resembles a chinchilla.
Have you ever had a question about created kinds but didn’t know who to ask? Have you ever wanted to learn more about your favorite kind? Well, now you can! You can ask me, Inspector Barry Mins, a question! Have your parents help you fill out this form, and you might get your question answered in my column! If you have any questions about created kinds, feel free to send them my way!