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Frilled Lizard

Frilled lizard
Frilled lizard

The frilled lizard gets its name from the large, leathery frill around its neck.

The frill of skin is normally folded back over the animal’s shoulders, but when threatened, it opens the frill like an umbrella to look much larger than it is. At the same, the frilled lizard rocks its body, waves its tail, and hisses through its gaping mouth. All of this together will scare most predators.

The frilled lizard has a gray or brown body. The frill which is strengthened by rods of cartilage has patches of vivid orange which highlight the defensive display.

A Frilled Lizard holding onto the side of a tree.
A Frilled Lizard holding onto the side of a tree.

The frilled lizard spends most of its day on the ground foraging, but when threatened it will climb high as it makes its defensive display. The frilled lizard’s strong hind legs enable it to run away bipedally if it can not climb out of danger.

The frilled lizard is native to the subtropical woodlands of northern Australia. It can grow to 28 inches (70cm) long.

The frilled lizard’s scientific name is Chlamydosaurus kingi.

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