It’s almost April, spring has officially arrived now, and that means that in Arizona the geckos are coming out of hibernation. Today at Light Future Art, we’re going to share some of the coolest and cutest fun facts about these little lizards that you can appreciate no matter if they live in your area or not.
1. There are between 1,000 and 2,000 species of geckos who live around the world. Their populations are focused in a band around the Earth’s equator. Scientists believe that there are many more species of geckos out there that we haven’t discovered yet.
2. If you don’t know anything else about geckos, you probably know that they can lose their tails if threatened by a predator or if sick. Their tails fall away from their bodies along pre-determined lines, like a perforation, to prevent too much damage to the gecko. They can regrow their tail afterwards, but the new tail might be shorter or a different color than the old tail.
3. Geckos can cling to almost any surface. Reportedly the only surface they can’t cling to is Teflon. They are able to have “sticky toes” because of thousands of microscopic ridges on their feet which grip on to anything. Scientists are looking to replicate that ability to make new technologies.
4. Geckos live for a long time compared to other lizards. In the wild, they tend to live about five years. As pets, they can live a few decades. The oldest recorded gecko was 27 years old.
5. These species of gecko live only in Australia and New Guinea, and after I tell you about them, you’ll think, “Yeah, that makes sense.” There are some geckos which don’t have any legs and navigate like a snake with small flaps near their tail. Those geckos have exceptional hearing and can hear frequencies in the highest range of any reptile.
6. Some geckos can camouflage themselves like chameleons do, changing the color of their skin to match their surroundings. However, they don’t need their eyes to do this. Some geckos have cells on their stomach that are structured similarly to that of their eyes which scans the colors beneath them and then changes the color of their back to match.
7. In Southeast Asia lives the parachute gecko, a species of gecko who has adapted to fly, or rather, to glide. They have skin flaps between their legs like flying squirrels do and are able to glide up to 200 feet at once. Parachute geckos use their tail as a rudder to steer them in flight.
8. Geckos are nocturnal and their eyes are adapted to seeing slight differences in colors even in dim moonlight. Their eyesight is about 350 times better than that of humans. They can even see ultraviolet light.
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