This dragon-like creature curls up like a ball when it feels threatened just like an armadillo and they are one of nature's cutest and eccentric reptiles.
Have you heard of the armadillo lizard? They are said to be one of the cutest creations of nature and the most eccentric ones as well. Just as the name suggests, these lizards come with a sharp armor all over their body and curl up when they feel threatened, just like an armadillo. But their built-in armor is not the only thing that's unique about them. These lizards hide in large family groups among the crevices of rocks.
Found in South Africa, these reptiles shield themselves from the area’s harsh climate and predators with their brilliant hiding techniques. They love sunbathing and they are also one of the very few species of reptiles that do not lay eggs. They eat insects and apparently need very little food in order to survive. From the appearance, they look like mini dragons and that is one more reason as to why they are kept as pets. In fact, they are facing a major threat due to illegal trafficking and because of people keeping them as pets.
Armadillo lizards go by the scientific name Ouroborus cataphractus and are primarily found in the rocky mounts of the Succulent Karoo region of South Africa. They are also known as golden armadillo lizard and even if they look a bit dangerous from the exterior, they are actually pretty slow movers and will try running away if they sense any kind of danger. These lizards appear from brown to light brown color and they are very easy to spot, especially because their entire body is covered in sharp spindles from head to toe.
Once the lizard curls up, the other part of its body acts as a layer of extra protection to its soft belly, which is the only part of the body that is not covered with spindles. They can stay curled-up and be still for almost an hour and their unique sense of defense keeps them safe from predators like snakes and mongoose. Armadillo lizards can grow up to be four inches in length and they have a lifespan of around a decade. They mainly survive on a diet of termites, small insects, and invertebrates, which is actually pretty similar to the diet of armadillos.
More often than not, these termite mounds are located far from where the armadillo lizards stay and they often have to travel 60ft to find a source of food, which is a pretty big distance for them to cover, considering their size. The male armadillo lizards are territorial but when the mating season arrives, they become extra-territorial regarding their turf and their mate. These reptiles give birth to just one or two offspring a year and the gestation period is between six to eight months.
In a few rare cases, the mother might take a year in between giving birth and will also care for its children, which is a pretty uncommon trait among most of the reptile family.