Wild Fact #88 – The Best Defence – Armadillo Girdled Lizard

Armadillo Girdled Lizard

Photo by Frank Wouters (Wikipedia)

Cool Things About The Armadillo Girdled Lizard

  • The Armadillo Girdled Lizard can only be found in the desert regions of southern Africa
  • They are also known as the Girdled Lizard, Armadillo Lizard, Golden Armadillo Lizard and of course the Armadillo Spiny-tailed Lizard
  • This particular lizard is known for their unique defence strategy in which they roll up into a wheel – they do this by stuffing their tail into their mouth
  • The Armadillo Girdled Lizard are not related to the Armadillo. In fact, today’s featured animal is a reptile while the Armadillo is actually a mammal

Confused Predators

We can’t talk about the Armadillo Girdled Lizard without looking at their unique defence strategy. As mentioned, when threatened these scaly reptiles will roll themselves into a ball by biting their tail. The thick, square scales and tail spines act as a suit of armour for the Girdled Lizard. Not to mention, I am pretty sure the predator would be incredibly confused by this spiky, ball and wouldn’t even know where to start attacking. I have seen a lot of cool defence strategies but this has to be among the coolest and most effective – way to go Armadillo Girdled Lizard for outsmarting the rest of the animal kingdom.Armadillo Girdled Lizard

A Whole Defensive System

Although the Armadillo Girdled Lizard has an awesome defence strategy, these reptiles are still very cautious. In fact, they spend most of their time hiding out in rock crevices with 30 or more friends. Yes, these lizards are actually social animals and some groups have been known to be as large as 60 individuals. Just imagine 60 little, spiny, balls rolling towards you – that would definitely confuse any would be attackers. Considering all the different defence mechanisms (spikes, hiding in crevices and traveling in groups) It is hard to picture how any predator would be able to successfully capture and consume one of these lizards.

The Hungry Predator

When they are not rolled up into little, spiky, balls or hanging out in rock crevices, these lizards will spend their days looking for food. Like most lizards, this particular species prefers feeding on spiders and other insects but their favourite snack has to be termites (of course…who doesn’t love termites?). Unfortunately for the termites, they don’t have the luxury of biting their tail and instantly becoming an impenetrable force.

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  1. ismeal 3 years ago

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