As you probably know, geckos are famous for being able to grow very big! Some species can get quite large- up to six feet long!
Many people admire their unique ability to grow into different environments and habitats, but what is actually going on inside of these lizards when they get so tall?
Gecko growth happens as an individual organizes its internal bones and cartilage in order to increase its diameter or size. This process is called intramuscular ossification and it occurs mostly in two groups: vertebrae and ribs.
As geckos grow longer, they need to allocate more bone to become wider. Because this process happens slowly, there are sometimes discrepancies between the length and width of a lizard’s tail or limbs. This doesn’t look too good!
Luckily, we have some information about how geckos coordinate their bone growth and why exactly they get so wide! In this article, you will learn all about that.
Second, how long they grow
Lengthy! Some gecko species can get very big. A desert-dwelling lizard known as the sand lizards gets up to five feet long!
Geckos usually hatch around one year old, but some take two or even three years to fully mature. This is due to them growing at different rates depending on their individual growth curves.
As geckos get bigger, they need more food to fuel their growth. Depending on the size of the gecko, this could be an issue unless you are able to keep it in a sufficiently large enclosure where it can forage for its own food.
Third, how old they are
Most gecko species do not grow very big! Even though some large adult geckos have been spotted before, this is extremely rare. Almost every sizedgecko you will find in the wild has young that are at least part way through their development when they get to be adults.
Geckos can reach up to 10 inches (25 cm) long from nose-to-tail! But most animals your age (or even slightly older) will probably only ever see babies half that size.
Fourth, what they eat
Although geckos may look like they live in plain old water, that’s not quite true! They require some kind of dry surface to survive. This can be real dirt, or very thin layer of dried up soil on a glass container.
Geckos need to climb around to find their next meal, so make sure your lizard does not get distracted while eating by providing it with adequate shelter and/or terraces.
If you notice your gerbil is getting skinnier, then try adding some more food for him/her; however, do not let the animal see you take any snacks, as this could spook it away.
Fifth, what they drink
Many lizard species are known to be fossorial or digging lizards. This includes geckos! Fossils of reptiles show that some were at least 2 feet long and probably drank their liquid intake while underground.
Geckos can actually swallow very large volumes of fluid per hour which is one of the reasons why it takes them so long to dry out when exposed to air.
This also helps explain how geckos survive in warm climates as they do not need to actively regulate body temperature like other cold-blooded creatures.
By storing water inside themselves, geckos are able to live longer than if they had to rely on external sources for moisture. ======
Question: What are some interesting facts about geckos?
Answer: There are over 1,000 different species of gecko worldwide! That’s more than there are mammals, birds, and amphibians combined!
Not only that, but most gecko species are capable of feeding off almost any kind of food! They even thrive on diets high in salt and fat!
These similarities have led scientists to classify geckos under the order Squamata (Greek word for “spiny skin”).
The name “gecko” comes from the Italian ghepci, which means “growler.” Since these animals growl by contracting certain muscles, this gave rise to the nickname “growling gecko.
Sixth, how to take care of them
Being aware of gecko species can help you determine if an animal is healthy and what might be going wrong with it. As mentioned before, geckos will grow in size as they get bigger.
This could be due to either their body changing to fit their surroundings or to disease setting in. If you notice your lizard has lost weight and seems sluggish, it may be time to look for a new home or doctor visit for that individual.
You should also check to see if its skin looks wrinkled or dry.
Seventh, when to rescue
Sometimes you need to make big changes before rescuing someone else’s dog. If your friend has been letting their dog run free in the neighborhood for several months and it is clearly that dog’s fault an accident happens then they probably don’t want the responsibility of paying to have it put down or retrained anymore.
If this situation sounds familiar it may be time to let go and find yourself another roommate. You can always ask relatives if they would take on the dog as a permanent house pet but chances are good that won’t happen.
Gecko owners tend to develop strong bonds with them so try spending some one-on-one time with yours before giving up.
Eighth, when to release
After all, these lizards spend most of their time hanging out in spaces where they can find food and shelter! As gecko species grow older, they reach an size limit at which growth comes to a halt. This is due to two things: limited resources for feeding and living space.
Geckos that are very hungry or have run out of space to search for food may not be able to put on enough weight to survive. They must therefore stop eating and spending energy to maintain themselves so that they can start looking for new foods and shelters later.
This doesn’t always happen immediately, but as geckos get older it becomes more common.
Ninth, what to do if you find one
If you happen across a gecko in its natural habitat, then there is not much you can really do except admire it or take some pictures!
If on the other hand, your luck strikes and you come across a larger, more aggressive gecko, then the next step is to determine whether it is breeding season.
This could be tricky as most species enter diapause (or sleep) during winter so this would have to coincide with spring/summer time frame.
Diagnosing if it is mating season requires looking at both external and internal features of the lizard.