What is a lizard? Although there are a variety of lizards out there, they all have a few things in common. These cool reptiles all have external ear openings, most of them have four limbs, and most of them have eyelids. Today, we’re going to explore these amazing animals. Although you can’t see the lizards in our Dragons Alive! exhibit right now, we can take a closer look at some of them and also discover some of the lizards that call Illinois home!
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Snakes vs. lizards
What do you think this is a picture of? If you said a snake, look again! This is actually a lizard called a European legless lizard. Although it looks and can move like a snake, it’s actually very different. Unlike a snake, this lizard has eyelids, ears, and cannot unhinge its jaw! Believe it or not, the lizard has a cousin that lives in Illinois, called the slender glass lizard.
Guiding Question: Let’s compare and contrast this animal with the snakes we discovered last week. What similarities do you notice? What differences?
Meet a native Illinois lizard!
You may not have seen one in the wild, but there are actually lizards that are found in Illinois. There are seven species in all, including this beauty called the six-lined race runner. Although we won’t see these in the city, Dr. Allison has encountered them during her fieldwork in nearby counties.
Guiding Question: Click here to see a photo of a six-lined race runner Dr. Allison found and click here to use this graphic organizer to collect your noticings, using words or pictures, and your wonderings! How many questions can you come up with?
Color your favorite lizard!
Love lizards as much as we do? Check out these amazing coloring sheets to explore different lizards and then print and color your favorite. Click here for intricate coloring sheets, and click here for more general options.
Guiding Question: What is your favorite lizard? What do you like about it? Where would you have to go to find one?
Make an “I Wonder” board
“I Wonder” boards are an awesome tool for collecting your little scientist’s questions. See how many you can post and come back to investigate them! Did more questions come up? Add them to your “I Wonder” board!
Behind the scenes!
Animal caretakers Lalainya and Ashley gave the uromastyx in Dragons Alive! some soaked and sprouted lentils for a delicious snack! Click here to see the video.