Uromastyx - Spiky-Tailed Flat, Muscular Desert-Dweller
More commonly known as spiny-tailed lizards, mastigures, or dabb lizards; the uromastyx is a genus of lizard that can be found in a wide swath of territory across North Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, and India. They can be found at elevations everywhere from sea-level to 3000 feet (about 3 kilometers) above sea-level. They will bask in temperatures up to 120 degrees farenheit (49 Celsius) and live in hilly and rocky areas that possess good shelter to use during non-basking hours.
Uromastyx have a length of 10 to 36 inches (25 to 91 centimeters). They change color depending on the temperatures around them so they can appear quite pale and faded at times or brightly colored. Color is also quite different based on species. They are flat, wide and muscular.
These lizards possess a spikey tail that's heavy and can be swung in defense at great velocities. During these defensive moves, the lizards will also hiss and show their small teeth. They also sleep with their tails at the edge of their burrows to create space between themselves and potential intruders. However, most have a pretty mild temperament and aren't looking for a fight.
With the ability to pull most of its water from the vegetation it ingests, the uromastyx doesn't require much of a water source to survive. In fact, it is suggested that pet owners not give captive uromastyx water bowels at all, since they won't drink from it anyway. As a result of a lack of understanding of its dietary constraints, (people often try to feed them insects which causes liver swelling and death) uromastyx usually do not last long in captivity but some can live as long as 15 years.