Wild Fact #103 – A Notch Above The Rest – Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko

Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko

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Cool Things You Need To Know

  • The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko is a species of gecko (shocking, I know) that can only be found on the wonderfully diverse island of Madagascar
  • When it comes to blending into your environment the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko may be one of the best. They specialize in mimicking dead leaves – creepy, satan-like leaves
  •  You may have noticed the incredibly large eyes on today’s featured animal. These large eyes (which lack eyelids) are perfect for helping the Gecko see in the dark, which is important when you are a nocturnal animal

The Perfect Disguise

The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko has an awesome name and by looking at the picture below, it is easy to see how they received this common name. Sometimes, these Gecko’s will have a satanic look to them but at the end of the day, their colouration is all about blending in. Their goal is to look exactly like decaying leaves so if that means being purple and red or a boring brown colour they will do what they have to in order to fit in with their surrounding environment. Amazingly, this isn’t their only method for avoiding hungry predators. The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko can also flatten their body, which helps reduce their shadow. If these camouflage tactics don’t work, they can always flash their frightening bright red mouth or simply drop their tail and scurry away. With all of these characteristics, I would think the predators on Madagascar should probably just look for something else to munch on.

Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko

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Taking It Up A Notch

You may have noticed from the pictures that the tail of the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko actually has little notches taken out of it, making it look even more like a leaf. Interestingly, these notches appear more frequently in males compared to females. So my question to you is this: Why do the males have more leaf-like notches on their tails?  Typically, when the males have something like antlers or brighter colours it has to do with attracting a mate. Is it really possible that the females are crazy about males with the most notches? Sure it sounds silly but I can’t think of any other reason why they would have this difference.

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