Flying Lizards - Real Dragons Glide in Asian Forests
Also known as flying dragons and flying lizards, lizards of the Draco genus (within the agamid family) are known for their ability to glide through the air of South and Southeast Asia. They accomplish this by using a membrane that extends from their ribcage to catch air pockets. They then flatten their hind limbs and use a small set of neck flaps to serve as a sort of rotor, stabilizing them during their flight. This is by no means the ability to fly, it's merely the ability to glide, as they have been seen traveling distances of 60 meters between trees, with a minimal loss in altitude.
The name draco consequently, is derived from the latin word for dragon.
Among the dracos there are several species that possess this super-reptile trait:
Draco blanfordii - Found in China, south to Malaysia
Draco maculatus - Also called the "spotted flying lizard" (has black spots)
Draco norvillii - From India, is dark green with a yellow stripe
Draco volans - The "Flying Dragon" is brown with some blue and yellow
Draco timorensis – From East Timor
All dracos are arboreal insectivores, and only venture to the ground when it's time for the females to lay eggs. When this time arises, the female slowly descends her tree, forces her head into the ground to make a nest, then lays 2-5 eggs before filling the hole again. She will then guard the nest for a mere 24 hours before leaving it forever.