Mexican Bearded Lizard
The Beaded lizard is one of two distinctly marked species within the monitor lizards family. Its close relation to the leopard lizard is that it has a thick soft body and long legs. Unlike most lizards, however, it has a thick scaled tail and powerful bite. It also possesses a thick red stomach with numerous small pincers, a tail with an additional four digits, and long ears with prominent holsters. The head of this lizard is long, over one and a half times the body length; it is thick with a bulky forehead and almond shaped eyes. It also possesses a short tail that is almost as long as its body.
Mexican beaded lizard is a medium-sized lizard, which stands only about one and a half inches in total length. They can grow to around three and a half inches in length, but this largely depends on the diet provided by the mother. Mexican beaded lizards belong to the family of reptiles called the Cimicidae, which includes such well-known members as the pufferfish, vivarium fish, certain frogs and other marine animals. Like all snakes, these lizards have a short tail and an extremely large tail. They are semi-reclusive but will feed on eggs and small reptiles during their life cycle.
Beaded lizards do not usually attack or kill their prey, but rather to strike it with its tail and mouth. It then injects a specially developed venom that causes instant death. This venoms have a special chemical that makes them especially effective against snakes and other reptiles. However, the Mexican beaded lizard possesses no venom or stingers. It preys mostly on moths, slugs and snails. These animals are killed before they can reach too far into the hide of the lizard.
While in the wild, they usually hunt from the ground, a characteristic that helps them hide from their predators. However, they are capable of hatching from eggs that they clutch in the water. In captivity, they are most often fed on meat, but they are also accustomed to eating insects, such as crickets and waxworms. Their large teeth, which grow continuously, aid them in ripping their way out of their natural environment and into the confines of a cage or tank.
A few characteristics help these beaded lizards to disguise themselves from their enemies, while in the wild. For example, most will have large headstones made from minerals dissolved in water that form a pattern of beads when they breathe underwater. Their long and narrow jaws enable them to force out their prey using their venom and their teeth. The narrow head of the lizard allows it to squeeze its beaded lizard body into a very small area, so that it is difficult for predators to take a bite out of it.
There are two different species of this Mexican heloderma: the Mexican beaded lizard (heloderma haemorrhoidalis), and the velvet snake (heloderma elapranoi). These two species generally produce similar colored eggs, although Mexican beaded lizards tend to have more brightly colored eggs. Both species are prolific diggers.
Beaded lizards grow to an average of three to four inches in length, with females growing slightly shorter. They have tail bands that are colored from red, pink, yellow, orange, green, blue, or gray. Each color adds about half an inch to the lizard’s length. They have short bodies with muscular hind legs, as well as elongated hind legs that end in small pads that provide grip. Their upper bodies are covered with a short, scales-covered robe called a rostrum.
The genus Cerbalus (which includes the American elm) contains several species of this interesting reptile, including the Mexican beaded lizard. The first recorded species of this lizard was alive about 250 million years ago, which is in the Cretaceous geological period. There is only one species of this kind left today, which is the leatherback. This is an excellent example of how evolution can happen even though species becoming extinct. The leatherback is very diverse, being found all across the world.