Mi Amor the Armadillo Lizard

Mi Amor the Armadillo Lizard
Armadillo Lizard, Cordylus cataphractusimage credit: terr-bo

Armadillo Lizard, Cordylus cataphractusimage credit: thegreentimes.co.za

Armadillo Lizard, Cordylus cataphractusimage credit: mrbadak.com

Armadillo Lizard, Cordylus cataphractusimage credit: biolib.cz

Armadillo Lizard, Cordylus cataphractusimage credit: Malacochersus
Habitat: desert areas of southern Africa
Status: Vulnerable
The Armadillo Lizard (Cordylus cataphractus) is a relatively small reptile that grows to around 6-8 1/2 inches in length. It’s kind of a weird little lizard too, deviating from the normal lizzie tendencies.

For example, they live in social groups of up to 30-60, though usually fewer. The females give live birth to her young, making this one of the only lizard species that doesn’t lay eggs. She will even go out of her way to feed the young, which is also pretty odd (though I’m sure the kids don’t mind it).

Probably most unusual aspect of the Armadillo Lizard though is its defense strategy: When in danger, the lizard will take its tail into its mouth and roll into a ball. When in this position, it is protected from predators by the thick, plate-like scales and spikes on its tail. As you’ve probably guessed by now, this behavior, which is strikingly similar to that of an armadillo, is where the lizard gets its name.

Unfortunately, this species is highly endangered due to the illegal pet trade. If you ever find them in stores, PLEASE DON’T BUY THEM! You’re just fueling the species decline otherwise :( Wouldn’t want that, now would we?

And here’s the icing on the cake of this post – a DAVID ATTENBOROUGH video! Ahhh, I just love him. Definitely watch it to see the lizard’s interesting behavior in action.