Wednesday 16 December 2015

Knob-tailed Gecko

Image: Michael Sale
Awwww! I don't know if Knob-tailed Geckos are wonky and cute or just wonky!

There are nine species of these peculiar geckos, all belonging to the genus Nephrurus and found only in Australia.

Image: Nathan Johnson
The Smooth Knob-tailed Gecko (N. laevissimus) is smooth
These are not the kind of geckos who run around in the trees using advanced foot technology to cling to every conceivable surface known to nature.

Instead, Knob-tailed Geckos scramble around on the desert sands at night, munching on any insects they come across.

Image: Michael Sale
The Midline Knob-tailed Gecko (N. vertebralis) has a line down the middle
Being from Australia, this is pretty good since Australia is basically one, gigantic and actual desert island with a bunch of trees around the coastal outskirts. It's like the place is home to a community of desert giants who like to maintain an attractive front yard and back garden.

Knob-tailed Geckos themselves aren't giants at all. They range in length from 9 cm (3.5 in) in the Starred Knobtail (N. stellatus) to the Rough Knobtail's (N. amyae) 13 cm (5.5 in). This doesn't include the tail, but these geckos are so weird their tail doesn't make much difference..

Video: TheLizardHorde
The Rough Knob-tailed Gecko (N. amyae) is the longest at 12 cm (5 in). Also they're rough

Knob-tailed Geckos have big heads and eyes so gigantic they barely fit those heads. Their legs are so slender and lanky you'd almost think they couldn't possibly support such a large noggin. You'd know different if you got a Knob-tailed Gecko angry! They'll raise themselves right up on their tippy-toes and growl at you in a most intimidating manner.

Finally, of course, there's the famous knob-tail. It's short, it's chubby and it has a strange little knob at the end! Different species of Knobtail have different kinds of knobtail. They might be smooth or spiky, fat or thin, not all that short or barely there at all.

Image: Mark Marathon
Rough Knob-tailed Geckos are also quite pleased with themselves
It's not clear why they have it exactly, but I like to think it's for purely aesthetic purposes. I'm sure a gecko was looking at its tail one day and thought "hey, let's Ankylosaur this thing."


TexWisGirl said...

too cute. and wonky. :)

Esther said...

It's so cute how they try to look all mad but just make themselves look adorably grumpy.

Joseph JG said...

@TexWisGirl: Haha! Yup!

@Esther: It's a common problem for cute, little things. They should start a support group!

ColdFusion said...

I think the fat tails provide an alternative less-lethal target for headmunchers, like skinks have.. no clue on the others!

Joseph JG said...

Ooo, that's quite possible!

Susan said...

Scary display is scary.

Joseph JG said...

I'm sure they'd love to hear you say that!

Susan said...

I was remarking on the great big videographer jumping back when the little wee lizard made the bluff lunge! :-) Evidently it works!

Joseph JG said...

Ah, yes! It's difficult to argue against that kind of video evidence!