Draco (genus)


Draco (genus)
Draco
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Agamidae
Subfamily: Agaminae
Genus: Draco
Linnaeus, 1758

Draco also known as Flying Dragons is a genus of agamid lizard from South and Southeast Asia. The ribs and their connecting membrane can be extended to create a wing, the hindlimbs are flattened and wing-like in cross-section, and a small set of flaps on the neck serve as a horizontal stabilizer. Draco are arboreal insectivores. While not capable of powered flight they often obtain lift in the course of their gliding flights. Glides as long as 60m have been recorded, over which the animal loses only 10m in height, which is quite some distance, considering that one of these lizards is only around 20 cm long.[1]

The only time a flying lizard ventures to the ground is when a female is ready to lay her eggs. She descends the tree she is on and makes a nest hole by forcing her head into the soil. She then lays 2-5 eggs before filling the hole. She guards the eggs for around 24 hours but then leaves and has nothing more to do with her offspring.[1]

Linnaeus derived the name of this genus from the Latin term for mythological dragons.

Contents

Classification of genus Draco

Gliding

The lizards are well-known for their 'display structures' and ability to glide long distances using their wing-like patagial membranes supported by elongated thoracic ribs to generate lift forces.[2]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Piper, Ross (2007), Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals, Greenwood Press.
  2. ^ Herre, A.W. 1958. On the Gliding of Flying Lizards, Genus Draco. Copeia, 1958(4), pp. 338-339

References

  • Inger, Robert F (1983) Morphological and ecological variation in the flying lizards (GenusDraco). Chicago : Field Museum of Natural History Full text

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