15 Amazing Facts About Geckos – One With Camouflage Skills
Unless you live in Antarctica, chances are you’ve come across a gecko wherever you live. Geckos are carnivorous lizards that use unique sounds to communicate with their family members. There are more than 1,500 types of geckos all over the world, and these creatures tend to favor warmer climates.
Geckos are nocturnal creatures that have powerful night vision. While some of us might think they are inconvenient to find at home, geckos can help get rid of household pests.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through a series of interesting facts about geckos, some of which you may never have heard of before!
Let’s look more closely at them.
Basic Gecko Facts
The scientific name for geckos is Gekkonidae, which consists of the largest family of geckos in the world. There are more than 950 species that belong to this family.
The list below shows you the scientific classification of geckos:
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Gekkonidae
- Subfamilies: Gekkoninae, Teratoscincinae, Diplodactylinae, Eublepharinae, Aeluroscalabotinae
Gekkonidae is the Latin word for geckos. When translated, it refers to a group of lizards with amphicoelous vertebrae.
Geckos are lizards, which means that they belong to the reptile family. They have small bodies, big heads, and long tails. It’s important to note that they have prominently shaped limbs that help them climb walls and other vertical surfaces. Geckos also vary in color across the world. While most of them are brown and grey, some gecko species are brightly colored in shades of yellow, green, blue, red, and orange.
It’s also important to remember that geckos have distinctive tails that vary across species. While some have long tails that taper as it grows away from the body, other geckos have short and fat tails.
Common Types of Gecko
Some common gecko types are:
- Day geckos
- Leopard geckos
- Frog-eyed geckos
- Chinese cave geckos
- Yellow-headed day geckos
- Crested geckos
Size and Weight
The average gecko is around seven to ten centimeters long and can weigh anywhere between 50 to 70 grams. However, there are some species of gecko that are less than two centimeters long, while there are others that can grow to more than 55 centimeters long!
Habitat and Range
Since geckos have adapted to nearly every country worldwide, they can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. However, they prefer to live in countries with a warmer climate, such as Brazil, India, and Mexico.
Geckos are carnivorous, which means that their diets typically consist of insects. These include household pests like flies, mosquitoes, and moths, along with tiny bugs and mealworms. Geckos also eat fruits and vegetables, and occasionally other geckos.
The gecko’s average lifespan is anywhere between five and 15 years.
15 Interesting Gecko Facts
Here’s a list of fun facts about geckos that you might not have known before!
Geckos have powerful eyesight
Since geckos are nocturnal creatures, they have magnificent eyesight to see their prey at night. Their sight is 350 times more powerful than human eyesight, especially when it comes to color vision; their eyes are also 350 times more sensitive to light that human eyes.
Geckos do not have eyelids
Geckos don’t have eyelids. This means that, unlike some of their fellow reptiles, they cannot blink. However, geckos have a thin layer of transparent film covering their eyes. This film offers the geckos protection against germs and dirt while allowing them to clean their eyes immediately.
Geckos lick their eyes
Geckos do not have eyelids, and they need to make sure that their eyes stay moist. Therefore, geckos lick their eyes from time to time to prevent their eyeballs from drying out. Geckos are members of the reptile family, so they have tongues that are long enough to reach their eyeballs. Also, some geckos live in hot countries, so licking their eyes helps keep them cool.
The colors of geckos have adapted to suit their environments
While the average gecko is usually brown or grey, some geckos have brightly colored skin. For example, geckos found in Asian countries like Afghanistan and India often have black spots on their yellow skin because it helps them blend into the desert-like landscape of those countries. These geckos are called leopard geckos because of the pattern of spots on their skin. Additionally, some geckos in New Zealand have bright green skin because they are typically found in forests.
Geckos have adhesive toepads
One of the most extraordinary things about geckos is that their toepads have an adhesive layer called setae. The setae on the underside of a gecko’s toepads is made up of tiny hairs that help geckos when climbing up a wall or other vertical surfaces. The setae are also complex structures on their own because they are self-cleaning, which means that geckos don’t have to spend a lot of time grooming themselves every day.
Geckos can drop and regrow their tails
Geckos have the ability to sever their tails at a specific point in their bodies. The reason for this is that if a predator is threatening a gecko, it can simply drop its tail and run away quickly. The dropped tail wriggles after being dropped and distracts the predator, thus allowing the gecko to flee safely.
Various gecko species communicate in unique ways
When it comes to communication through sound, different geckos use different sounds to communicate with one another. They chirp, hiss, and bark to alert other geckos about danger, and they also squeak. Some geckos use their tails in defense against predators.
Geckos store fat in their tails
Even though geckos hunt for food, there are times when food is scarce, which is why geckos rely on nutrients and fat stored in their tails that help keep them alive during a food shortage. Therefore, even though they can easily sever their tails, it could prevent them from staying alive.
There is a species of gecko that glides through the air
There is a popular species of gecko called the parachute gecko that can glide forward through the air. This is because these geckos are arboreal, meaning they live in trees. They have flaps of skin on their tails and feet that help them jump from one tree to another. While these geckos cannot fly, they can still leap 200 feet forward at a time.
Some gecko species don’t have limbs
There is a species of gecko called Pygopodidae. They don’t have forelimbs. These geckos are usually found in places like New Guinea and Australia. Since they come under the lizard family, they are often called snake lizards, flap-footed lizards, or even legless lizards.
Geckos eat the skin they shed to gain nutrients
Since geckos constantly grow throughout their lives, they shed their skin every few months or depending on how fast they grow. Since they lose some nutrients whenever they shed their skin, geckos often eat the layer of skin to gain some nutrition back.
Some geckos stay pregnant for more than three years
While the average gestation period for a gecko is about 20 days, some gecko species, like the leopard gecko, remain pregnant for three to four years.
A few gecko species can reproduce with a male gecko
There are some gecko species that are parthenogenic, which means that female geckos can reproduce without a male gecko.
Geckos are GEICO’s mascot
While the company has never elaborated on which type of gecko their mascot is, geckos have been part of its brand for over 20 years.
The smallest gecko in the world is less than two centimeters long
This gecko is called the Jaragua dwarf gecko, and it can fit on a coin the size of a dime.
Although geckos are some of the smallest animals on the earth, they are some of the most fascinating creatures that contribute to the ecosystem in various ways. In this article, we took you through a series of basic facts about geckos, along with a list of 15 fun facts that you might not have known before. We’ve barely scratched the surface with gecko facts, but we hope that you’re inspired to continue your learning.