I guess this is why the locals call it “the lizard of great sleepiness”.
|Image: Josh More|
Is a lizard. Which reaches up to 40 cm (1 ft 4 in) long.
They're mostly Chinese. First discovered in 1928, they were long thought to be entirely restricted to the Dayao mountain range in the habitually scenic Guangxi Province, southern China. Then, in 2003, another population was found in northern Vietnam.
Chinese Crocodile Lizards are semi-aquatic, dividing their time between cool, shallow, slow-moving water bodies and nearby land.
When something tasty catches their eye, a small fish, tadpole or dragonfly larva, they burst into action with a swish of their powerful tail...
Chinese Crocodile Lizards still spend a lot of their time on land, perhaps snatching up a snail or worm. However, they also like to just... hang out. And now that they don't have to worry about their next breath of oxygen, they can lounge about for HOURS doing nothing at all!
It's a true, reptilian lazy bones of the highest order!
And since they usually live alone with a pool of water all to themselves, there's no-one around to tell them what to do. Bliss!
Another time is when winter approaches. After all that time sitting alone on a rock doing nothing for hours on end, they congregate in crevices and treeholes to hibernate from November to March. It seems they can only bear each other's company when they're all asleep!
|Image: Nathan Rupert|
Females give birth to up to a dozen babies after 8 to 12 months. Thankfully their mother doesn't have to go to any effort because they're immediately active and ready to hunt on their own. They do so in nearby areas for the first few weeks, before leaving to find water pools of their own and a bit of peace and quiet.
Video: turkish breeder
Chinese Crocodile Lizards even enjoy their own space on the evolutionary tree. They are the only living species in the Shinisauridae family, their closest relatives exist as fossils dating back to the Cretaceous. It had been thought that their closest living relatives were a group of lizards known as Xenosaurids but more recent molecular research places them within Platynota, alongside athletic monitor lizards, venomous Gila monsters and fearsome mosasaurs.
I guess the Chinese Crocodile Lizard was happy enough with the tail.