There are many different species of lizards in Australia. Some of the more common ones are the squirrels, banded, bullheaded, rainbow fish and the giant cichlids like the Synthliboramphus foetens. But even though there are a lot of these species in the wilds there are only about twenty or so species that are studied in detail in the zoo. Many of them are represented in captivity in zoos. In this article you will find information on three of them.
The smallest of the Australian lizard fish is the squirells which measures around eleven centimeters. This species has bright orange and black colors on its head, sides and dorsal. Its dorsal fins have very sharp teeth and it also has large white pincers that it uses to hold onto the sand on its belly. Its name came from the fact that it had similar characteristics to a small castle in that it had sharp teeth and it also sported large white pincers.
The third specie of lizards is the Cichlid that is found in the coastal waters and rivers of Western Australia. They are generally known by the name of ‘Dwarf Cichlids’ since they resemble this small fish family in looks. They actually grow to a size of around fourteen centimeters in length. A dwarf cichlid’s body is long and slim with a very small head, a triangular body shape and long, pointed antennae.
The fourth specie of lizards in this series is the largest of all. It is called the Gigan Shield. This species can grow to around twenty-five centimeters in length and can reach up to one meter in diameter. Its head is black with three pointed spikes that jut outwards. Its two dorsal fins are larger than the rest of its body and it also has small, rounded white teeth.
The fifth specie of these amphibians is called the Spiny Back Squid. It is another species that can be identified by the spiny, banded body of its dorsal and anal fins. Its anal fin spines are short and it has a row of small, pointed protrusions along its back that look like a row of the teeth. Its head is black with red splotches on it, and it has tiny, rounded ears. It typically lives in bodies of water that are humid and warm, at least twelve feet deep and sandy bottoms.
The sixteenth specie of lizards belongs to the Order of Alligator Slayers. This group consists of a few select species that are found only in saltwater environments. Among these is the Giant Shiner Light Billed lizard fish, the smallest specie of all and the only species to feature sharp teeth.
Another species in this group is the Deep-sea lizard fish. This is a specialized group comprised of species from very cold and very warm environments. One of these species is the Arctic Toothless Fish, which is only found in the Arctic Ocean. These fish also have large eyes with powerful lenses that enable them to see in waters where most fish cannot. Their mouths have rows of sharp, backward pointing teeth, and they have no vocal cords.
All of the species in this order have scales that are clubbed, meaning they have two rows of scales on each side of their bodies. The cylindrical body of these animals has an overall conical shape, though some can be more or less conical depending on the size of the fish. They normally lack any vocal cords, and their eyes are small, oval, round, or without any pupils at all. The color of a lizardfish can range from grey to light yellow. Most have gray, white or even pinkish bellies.