Geckos
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About Geckos

Welcome to the adaptive and stealthy world of geckos, unique reptiles known for their remarkable adaptations, extraordinary abilities, and diverse appearances. Geckos belong to the animal kingdom’s order Squamata and the family Gekkonidae. 

These fascinating creatures have fascinated young children for centuries with their ability to climb vertical surfaces, their distinctive calls, and their diverse range of colors and patterns. 

Geckos are small to medium-sized lizards characterized by their flattened bodies, large eyes, and specialized toe pads that allow them to climb walls and ceilings with ease. They have a unique feature called lamellae, which are microscopic structures on their toe pads that create adhesive forces, enabling them to cling to surfaces. 

Geckos also possess the ability to vocalize, and some species are known for their distinctive chirping or clicking sounds. They exhibit a wide range of colors and patterns, making them visually captivating creatures.

Types of Geckos:

There are approximately 2,000 known species of geckos worldwide, inhabiting a variety of habitats, from rainforests to deserts. Some popular types of geckos include the Crested Gecko, Leopard Gecko, and several others.  Here is a quick look into these and other popular species:

Crested Gecko: Crested Geckos are known for their unique crest of skin along their head and back. They are native to New Caledonia and are prized for their vibrant colors and ability to climb vertical surfaces. Crested Geckos are nocturnal and primarily feed on fruits, nectar, and insects.

Leopard Gecko: Leopard Geckos are one of the most popular pet geckos due to their docile nature and striking patterns. They are native to arid regions of Asia and have a unique ability to move their eyelids. Leopard Geckos are insectivores, feeding primarily on crickets and mealworms.

Tokay Gecko: Tokay Geckos are known for their distinctive blue-gray body and bright orange spots. They are native to Southeast Asia and are recognized for their aggressive nature and loud vocalizations. Tokay Geckos are nocturnal predators, feeding on a variety of insects and small vertebrates.

Gargoyle Gecko: Gargoyle Geckos get their name from their unique appearance, with raised scales that resemble the gargoyles found on buildings. They are native to New Caledonia and possess the ability to regenerate lost tails. Gargoyle Geckos primarily feed on a diet of insects.

Day Gecko: Day Geckos are known for their vibrant colors, with species like the Gold Dust Day Gecko and the Electric Blue Gecko being particularly striking. They are native to Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean. Day Geckos are diurnal and feed on a variety of insects and nectar.

African Fat-tailed Gecko: African Fat-tailed Geckos have a stocky body and a distinctive fat tail. They are native to West Africa and are popular as pets due to their docile nature. African Fat-tailed Geckos primarily feed on insects and small invertebrates.

House Gecko: House Geckos are small geckos that have adapted well to human environments. They are commonly found in tropical regions around the world, including Southeast Asia and parts of Africa. House Geckos are nocturnal and feed on a variety of insects, making them beneficial for controlling pest populations.

Unique Characteristics of Geckos:

Geckos possess several unique characteristics that distinguish them from other lizards and reptiles. Their ability to climb vertical surfaces and even walk upside down is attributed to their specialized toe pads, which contain microscopic structures called lamellae. 

These structures create adhesive forces, allowing geckos to adhere to various surfaces without relying on suction or sticky substances. Additionally, geckos have the remarkable ability to shed their tails, which can distract predators and provide an opportunity for escape. 

Some gecko species also possess the ability to change color to blend in with their surroundings or communicate with other geckos.

Summary

Geckos, with their remarkable adaptations and diverse species, are captivating creatures that have captured the fascination of humans worldwide. Their ability to climb vertical surfaces, unique vocalizations, and stunning colors make them a delightful subject of study and admiration. 

Geckos’ distinct toe pads, shedding tails, and ability to change color set them apart from other reptiles and showcase their incredible adaptations. 

As we continue to explore and appreciate these enchanting creatures, let us also work towards preserving their habitats and ensuring their conservation for future generations to enjoy the wonders of geckos in all their splendor.

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Types of Geckos

Common House Gecko

Crested Gecko

Gargoyle Gecko

Jeweled Gecko

Leopard Gecko

Moorish Gecko

Ocelot Gecko

Pacific Gecko

Persian Wonder Gecko

Sand Gecko

Satanic Leaftailed Gecko

Smooth Knob-Tailed Gecko

Tokay Gecko

Vietnamese Cave Gecko

FAQ’s

1. What is the largest and smallest gecko in the world?

The largest gecko species is the New Caledonian Giant Gecko, reaching lengths of up to 14 inches (35 centimeters).

On the other hand, the smallest gecko species is the Jaragua Sphaero, measuring just around 0.6 inches (1.5 centimeters) in length.

2. What do geckos eat?

Geckos are primarily insectivores, feeding on a diet consisting mainly of insects such as crickets, mealworms, and small spiders. Some larger gecko species may also consume small vertebrates like mice or other lizards. Certain arboreal geckos, such as the Crested Gecko, have also evolved to consume fruits and nectar.

3. How do geckos reproduce?

Geckos reproduce through sexual reproduction, with males courting females through various displays and behaviors. Female geckos lay eggs, which are typically deposited in hidden locations such as crevices or burrows. 

The incubation period varies among species, but it generally lasts for several weeks. Once hatched, baby geckos are independent and must fend for themselves.

4. How long do geckos live?

The lifespan of geckos varies among species, but on average, they can live for 10 to 20 years in captivity. Some species, like the Leopard Gecko, have been known to live even longer with proper care and diet.

5. What is the difference between a gecko and a lizard?

Geckos are a type of lizard, so all geckos can be classified as lizards. However, not all lizards are geckos. Lizards encompass a broader group of reptiles, including various families and species.

Geckos, on the other hand, belong specifically to the family Gekkonidae and possess distinct characteristics such as their toe pads and vocalizations.

6. What is the difference between a gecko and a salamander?

Geckos and salamanders belong to different orders within the animal kingdom. Geckos are reptiles and belong to the order Squamata, while salamanders are amphibians and belong to the order Caudata. 

Geckos have scales, dry skin, and lay eggs, while salamanders have moist skin and undergo metamorphosis, typically starting their lives as aquatic larvae before transitioning to a terrestrial or semi-aquatic lifestyle.

Sources
  • Burnie, David & Wilson, Don, Animal, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC.
  • Hickman et al, Integrated Principle of Zoology, McGraw Hill, Boston.