Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Lizards (Lacertilia), an order of reptiles very widely distributed between lat. 60° N. (above which they are rarely met with) and the south of Patagonia, but most abundant, and irf the highest development, between the tropics. The body is more or less elongated, and generally terminates in a tapering tail; the skin may be covered with scales, scutes, granules, tubercles, or spines. Four limbs are generally present, but either pair may be absent, or both may be reduced to rudiments and hidden beneath the skin. The cloacal aperture is transverse, and the male organ double. The teeth are attached to the jaw, and may be fused to the inner side (pleurodont), or set on the edge (acrodont). Most of them are oviparous; but in a few the eggs are hatched within the body of the parent, as in the Viviparous Lizard and the Blindworm (q.v.). There are about 20 families, with some

1,600 species. They vary in size from 6 feet to a few inches, and differ as widely in habit. Most are terrestrial, some are arboreal, a few burrow, and one form (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) from South America is certainly marive, as is probably Simony's Lizard (Lacerta simonyi) from Ferro. The majority feed on small vertebrates and insects, but some are vegetable feeders. Only one is poisonous [Heloderm], but the power of the Horned Toad (q.v.) to eject an acrid red spittle is well established. There are four British lizards, Lacerta vivipara, L. agilis, and L. viridis (from the Channel Islands), with four limbs, each with five digits, and the limbless Blindwc.rm (q.v.). [Agamidje, Amphis-BAEna, Chameleon, Gecko, Heloderm, Iguana, Monitor, Skink.]