Chinese Crocodile Lizard
Facts about Chinese crocodile lizards. "Scientific name for Chinese crocodile lizard is Shinisaurus crocodilurus. The Chinese crocodile lizard is found in cool forests in the provinces of China which are Hunan, Guangi and Guixhou. Chinese crocodile lizard partly lives on the land and also in the water. It can also be found in Vietnam, Quang Ninh province.
Chinese crocodile lizard is small in nature with grayish brown color and orange to red throats. The head has plated scales whereas behind the eyes the scales are ridged. The most distinctive features of Chinese crocodile lizard are the two rows of enlarged body scales that run down the back and the tail. Normally the tail is muscular and resembles that of a crocodile’s tail. This is why it is known as Chinese crocodile lizard.
The Chinese crocodile lizard grows Eight to 16 inches (20 to 40 cm) and males are larger than females.
The weight is up to 10 ounces (283G). the average Lifespan In the wild is unknown, but In captivity the Chinese crocodile lizard is about 10 years. There diet in the wild is on tadpoles, snails, worms, dragonfly larvae, and insects. The color depends on the sex of the animal. The male Chinese crocodile lizard is more colorful than the female. During the breeding season, you will realize that the male looks more colorful. Both sexes have shades of brown colors on the back that is from head to the tail. The belly colors vary from yellowish to light orange. The new born Chinese crocodile lizards have deep brown with a light snout and forehead.
The Chinese crocodile lizard inhabits ponds and usually only one will inhabit a pond. It prefers living in shallow water and thick vegetation especially where there are branches overhanging around the water holes. This is an ideal place for the Chinese crocodile lizard to sleep since it loves sleeping.
In most cases Chinese crocodile lizard spends its time out of water. It can stay motionless for so many hours or even days without responding to any kind of disturbances. This has led to some strong beliefs especially by the indigenous people who think that the Chinese crocodile lizard can be used to cure insomnia. In fact most of these people hunt it for traditional medicinal use.
If the Chinese crocodile lizard is threatened, it hides in water and will swim using its powerful tail. This tail makes it a good swimmer. In cases where it is caught and cannot escape, it fights violently by hissing and biting until it is free. The Chinese crocodile lizard is active during the day with its activities concentrated mainly in the morning and evening. But as observed it does not engage in intense activities.
During cold weather, the Chinese crocodile lizards will stay dormant (hibernate). This is mostly triggered by extremely cold water that drops below 60 degrees. This occurs mostly between November and March. Meanwhile before hibernating, the Chinese crocodile lizard can stay with other lizards in tree holes to keep warm.
The Chinese crocodile lizard reaches sexual maturity at the ages of two or three respectively. Breeding season starts from July to August and little or no courtship is seen despite other lizards that would court first. The color of the male Chinese crocodile lizard brightens in order to attract the females.
Thereafter the female Chinese crocodile lizard get pregnant and the pregnancy lasts for 8 months. The offspring born are from two to twelve. These young Chinese crocodile lizards are very active once they are born and this is proven by the fact that they start feeding and swimming almost immediately. The parents do not take care of them so they are left to fend for themselves. The Chinese crocodile lizard can remain at the pond for few days then leave to look for their own ponds.