Gecko looks like lizards because they are a type of izard. They are known for many things like their adhesive feed, hairy skin, etc. They are about 1,850 species of gecko out there in the wild. Today in our Gecko facts, we will know the habitat, diet, reproduction, and much more stuff related to geckos. Are you ready?
Before starting our Gecko facts, let’s learn about the taxonomy or classification of gecko.
Gecko Facts 1-10
1. Geckos prefer warm climates over cold climates. There is no exception to this for 1,850-odd species of gecko.
2. The geckos are found in various sizes but on average, they are around 1.6 centimeters to 60 centimeters or 0.64 inches to 24 inches.
3. Did you know that most geckos can’t blink? You may ask ‘how do they keep their eyes moist and clean?’ They keep licking their eyes to keep them moist and clean. They can’t blink because their eyelids are fixed. The species that can’t blink are Tokay geckos, house geckos, 52 species of day geckos, crested geckos, etc.
4. The eye lens are fixed. The lens enlarges when they are in dark to allow more light to enter.
5. The infraorder, Gekkota is classified into 7 families. These seven families contain 125 genera of geckos. These 125 genera have around 1,850 species of geckos.
6. The seven families are as follows:
a. Carphodactylidae: It has 7 genera and 28 species.
b. Diplodactylidae: It has 19 genera and 117 species.
c. Sphaerodactylidae: It has 11 genera and 203 species.
d. Gekkonidae: It has 52 genera and 950 species.
e. Eublepharidae: It has 6 genera and 30 species.
f. Pygopodidae: It has 7 genera and 41 species.
g. Phyllodactylidae: It has 11 genera and 117 species.
7. Did you know that Pygopodidae family has geckos (all of the species) that don’t have any forelimbs and hindlegs as vestigial organs? These geckos are called flap-footed lizards, legless lizards, or snake lizards. This family is endemic to New Guinea and Australia.
8. The smallest gecko (also the smallest lizard) is tiny dwarf gecko which measures 1.6 centimeters or 0.6 inches long and weighs mere 120 milligrams.
9. One of the largest geckos is the crested gecko or Rhacodactylus leachianus leachinus. It is a subspecies of New Caledonian giant gecko. This one can weigh up to 212 to 279 grams and are 14 to 17 inches long. Largest extinct gecko is Kawekaweau (sticky-toed gecko, Delcourt’s giant gecko, etc.). It was 24 inches long and was endemic to New Zealand.
10. Geckos are present on six continents. They are not present in Antarctica as we mentioned already that they can’t live in cold climates.
Gecko Facts 11-20
11. They can survive in almost any habitat like rain forests, mountains, deserts, etc.
12. Usually geckos are nocturnal. Their eyes are 350 times more sensitive to light than us.
13. Did you know that they take a bath? But it is no the same way as we do. They have a lot of hair which is like spines. They trap air due to which water bounces off without touching the skin.
14. You must think that they may remain dirty or unclean if they can’t take a proper bath. But, when the water bounces off the body of a gecko, it takes all the contaminants on the skin with it.
15. Geckos are omnivores meaning they eat vegetables, fruits, and insects. They save fat in their tails so that they can use it later when the food is scarce.
16. Most of them are oviparous meaning they lay eggs. The females have control over the time of laying eggs. They can remain pregnant for years and they will lay eggs only when the situation (environment) is right. Others are viviparous and some reproduce asexually.
17. The females lay eggs in bark and leaves. The newborn geckos are called hatchlings. Leopard gecko hatchlings are around 3 to 4 inches long at the time of birth.
18. Just like a normal lizard, geckos cut their tails off when they are attacked by the predator. It is a process called autotomy. They do this to confuse the predator. The tails jump, move here and there, and catches the attention of predator which buys gecko valuable time to escape from the predator. They can grow their tails back.
19. They have sticky feet due to which they can climb up high surfaces. Their toes have setae which are small hairs. It is because of these setae that their feet are sticky.
20. Just like cats, they mostly land on their feet. To achieve this, they twist their tail to a right angle. This whole process takes just 100 milliseconds.
Gecko Facts 21-30
21. Since 1999, the gecko is the mascot of Geico insurance company is our gecko. The idea came up when someone mispronounced the company’s name as gecko! The company didn’t clarify which species of gecko is its mascot but most of the bets are on giant day gecko.
22. The lifespan of a gecko in the wild is around 5 years. However, the lifespan changes from species to species. Geckos in captivity tend to live longer than in the wild. They can live for around 10 to 20 years in captivity. The longest-lived gecko was 27 years old when it died.
23. They know the art of camouflage! They don’t even have to see their surroundings to blend into it! They actually sense the surroundings through their skin and blend.
24. Other species of gecko blend in with the surrounding and appear as lichens, moss or rock, etc. according to their skin patterns. Some of the species look like a leaf and they do such an amazing job that it’s extremely difficult to tell which one is a gecko in a heap of leaves!
25. There is a species called flying gecko. It can’t fly but it has the ability to glide. This one can glide up to 200 feet in one bound. It is popular in the pet trade.
26. They are known for their vocalization as well. However, the vocalization also differs from species to species. They use clicking or chirping sounds to communicate among themselves.
27. The only family of gecko which can blink is the Eublepharidae.
28. All geckos shed their skin at regular intervals depending on the species. Geckos eat the shed skin. Shedding occurs frequently when they are young.
29. They have 100 teeth. They replace all of them in 3 to 4 months.
30. Each species is listed differently in IUCN. They are listed from Least Concern to Endangered. Some of the endangered species are Bavayia ornata and Bavayia goroensis.