Friday, 13 January 2017

Phrynocephalus mystaceus: World's Weirdest Lizard?

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Phrynocephalus
Species: Phrynocephalus mystaceus
Conservation Status: Not yet assessed
Common Name: Secret Toad-headed Agama

This is definitely one of the weirdest looking lizards that have been featured on the site. At first, it looks pretty normal..And then it opens its mouth!

Scientifically described as Phrynocephalus mystaceus, this agamid lizard can be found in Iran, North Afghanistan, Eastern Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and possibly in south of Astrakhan Oblast. With the tail straightened, adults can reach a length of up to 9,44 inches (24 cm).

Commonly known as the secret toadhead agama, the species is best known for its secret red oral display frill that unfolds when the creature is frightened by predators(hence the name). The creature will also hiss and show its teeth to deter its enemies. Well, I would probably be disgusted and leave it alone but I guess it works the same :)

Here's a video of this amazing creature, jump to 0:19 if you are impatient!

Habitat of Phrynocephalus mystaceus (orange)

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