Armadillo Lizard - Tough Desert Reptile
The armadillo lizard is an interesting species of reptile which lives only in the deserts of southern Africa. This desert lizard is known by a variety of interesting names, which might lead you to believe that there are more of them out there than there actually are. It is also sometimes called the "typical girdled lizard" the "armadillo spiny-tailed lizard", the "golden armadillo lizard" and the "armadillo girdled lizard". Wondering why they are named for an armadillo? To protect itself - a threatened armadillo lizard will roll up into a protective ball, tail in mouth, to ward off attackers.
This is a dusky brownish/yellowish species who uses their dusty coloring to blend into their desert home to avoid and hide from predators. They generally grow up to 9 inches (21 cm).
These amazing lizards have such a powerful bite that they can accidently break their own jaw by the time they reach adulthood. This tough armored lizard lives under rocks, and in cracks in the ground. When it comes out to hunt, it is usually for bugs and spiders.
The IUCN considers this species "vulnerable". Part of the problem with the growing threat to naturally occurring populations is their popularity as pets. Because these lizards are so easily bred and tamed, they have become very popular in pet stores, and as a result, wild populations are encroached upon for capture and sale.