World Lizard Day Date in the current year: August 14, 2024

World Lizard Day World Lizard Day is celebrated annually on August 14. It is unclear who exactly invented this unofficial holiday and why they chose this date, but does it really matter? What matters is that all lizard enthusiasts have an excuse to celebrate their favorite reptiles.

Lizards are a widespread group of squamate (scaly) reptiles comprising over 6,000 species. They can be found on all continents except Antarctica, as well as most oceanic archipelagos. Lizards range in size from a little over half an inch long (some chameleons and geckos) to almost ten feet long (Komodo dragon), but most lizards are relatively small.

Lizards can have a wide range of diets, but the majority are predominantly carnivorous; as cold-blooded animals, they need all the energy they can get, and animal products are the best source of energy. A lizard’s typical diet usually depends on its size: small and medium-sized lizards eat small invertebrates (insects, arachnids, mollusks, worms), and larger ones (for example, tegus and monitor lizards) can feed on frogs, snakes, other lizards, fish and even small birds and mammals, as well as bird and reptile eggs. And the Komodo dragon can eat mammals as large as water buffalo! Around 2% of lizard species are herbivores, and some are omnivores.

Arguably the best-known fact about lizards is their ability to shed part of their tails, known as autotomy or self-amputation. They use it to distract the predator’s attention and escape in case of danger. Depending on the species, the tail breaks either between the vertebrae or in the zone of weakness across a vertebra. As the lizard sheds its tail, special muscles in the tail contract around the caudal artery to minimize bleeding. Some lizard species are able to partially regenerate their tails over several weeks or months, but the new tail won’t look the same.

Most lizard species, except for the above-mentioned Komodo dragon, are harmless to humans. Many of them are popular pets, including chameleons, geckos, anoles, iguanas, and bearded dragons.

Lizards appear in folktales and myths across the world, frequently sharing the symbolism of snakes. In many cultures, they are associated with resurrection, which may have derived from their ability to shed and regrow their tails or from their regular molting. In Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, lizards were a symbol of wisdom. In African, Australian Aboriginal and Melanesian folklore they are linked to ancestral figures or cultural heroes. Taking into account the popularity of lizards and their cultural significance, it is not surprising that someone has invented World Lizard Day.

If you’re a fan of lizards, you should celebrate World Lizard Day on August 14. To participate in the celebration, you can check out the lizard exhibit at your local zoo, read a book or watch a movie with lizards in it (any of the Godzilla movies is a great choice), or even consider getting a lizard for a pet. And don’t forget to spread awareness about the holiday on social media using the hashtag #WorldLizardDay!

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International Observances, Ecological Observances, Unofficial Holidays


World Lizard Day, international observances, unofficial holidays, ecological observances, lizards