Herp of the Day

September 1, 2020: Ouroborus cataphractus

The Armadillo Lizard is a small lizard native to the deserts of South Africa.  Morphologically, this lizard is similar to a Uromastyx or a Sungazer.  The truly unique attribute of O. cataphractus is their defense mechanism– While Uromastyx use their spiny tail like a club, the Armadillo Lizard instead uses theirs as a shield.  By biting onto their own tail, the lizard can curl themselves into a ball, protecting their vulnerable underside, exposing only their hard back scaling.

Naturally, O. cataphractus is a termite specialist, both feeding and birthing their live young in terrestrial mounds.  As one of the few social reptiles, they often cohabitate with dozens more of their kind.

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