Madagascar, it can be said, is the greatest stronghold of chameleons in the world. Of the 200 or so species, almost half can be found on this huge island. The rest are primarily found in Africa, with a few in Asia, and two species – the common chameleon and the African chameleon – even extending into southern Europe. It may even be the case that the chameleon family as a whole originated in what is now Madagascar before it split off from mainland Africa.
Last week, I heard that someone had been bitten by an adder while examining some movement in the undergrowth around the Clennon Valley Lakes in Paignton – the site of The Nature Nook’s latest wildlife walk, which you can read about here. The person in question, thankfully, was fine (after a night in hospital on anti-venom), but it inspired me to write a post about my favourite British snake.
When designing the perfect home for your new leopard gecko, there are many things that you need to consider. One of the first questions you should be asking yourself is: what substrate is right for me? Similar to how, when you design your own home, the walls and carpets have to go in first, your reptile’s substrate needs to be added before any exciting hides and decorations.
If you were asked to think of a legless reptile, your mind would probably conjure up images of some kind of snake. But leglessness has also evolved in lizards – several times over, in fact. The biggest lizard family – the skinks – includes numerous groups that have on separate, multiple occasions lost their limbs. Here in the UK (which, it has to be said, is a very reptile-deficient country), we have just one legless lizard: the slow-worm.