If you’re not interested in a conventional pet such as a dog, cat or hamster, maybe a small reptile is more to your liking?  Contrary to popular belief, there are some types of lizards that make pretty good pets, particularly the more colorful ones that are even suitable for younger owners.   Among all the reptiles in the animal kingdom, there is perhaps no more approachable group than that of the “Lizards”.

So, what exactly constitutes a lizard, anyway, you might be wondering?  In short, there are at least 5,796 species of lizards and they are native to every continent except Antarctica.  As far as their characteristics are concerned, any reptile that has 4 feet, ears, and a tail that’s capable of being quickly detached (in the event of trying to escape from a predator) is generally considered to be a lizard.

When it comes to why – specifically, why a person might actually want a lizard for a pet, there are a number of reasons.  For starters, your average lizard tends to live in an enclosure most of the time, meaning that they are generally about as mobile as fish.  Additionally, some types are also fairly easy to care for (low maintenance), which might be perfect for the person who is just starting out with reptiles.  Anyway, here are a few varieties that many consider to be awesome pets…

Geckos

There are a number of factors which make the humble gecko a great pet, namely its diet, demeanor and tolerance for being handled.  Moreover, there are over 1,500 different types of sub-species of gecko out there, making it one of the more diverse groups in terms of looks and so forth.  Additionally, they make somewhat delightful chirping sounds, particularly in groups and some of the females are even capable of reproducing by themselves.  However, the reason most people go for a gecko is purely visual, as they are perhaps the most flamboyant-looking lizards out there.  Some geckos even have the ability to change color, which is very interesting to observe when it takes place.

Pogona or the “bearded dragon”

While there may only be 8 specific species of pogona or “bearded dragon”, they are among the more well-behaved (around people) lizards out there.  Of course if you’re going to get one of these interesting creatures, be aware that they can live up to 12 years if properly cared for.  Yet another thing to consider is their size, which can be up to 2 feet.  If you are planning on acquiring more than one you might even be treated to a show as competing males often engage in showy bouts where they change color and even gesture each other with head-bobbing and hand-waving.  With their spiky bodies some might thing of them as being intimidating but that would be way off point – they’re actually very charming reptiles which tend to interact well with humans of all ages.

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