Friday 27 May 2016

Kinabalu Crested Dragon

Image: Bernard DUPONT
Hypsicalotes kinabaluensis
I love miniature dragons! So much more convenient than the full-sized ones, wouldn't you agree?

Sure the little dragons can't burn down entire villages in a single breathe but that kind of thing is widely frowned upon these days anyway. Instead, we get an adorable little darling who won't fill your entire house with its magisterial body, will be much cheaper to feed and is highly unlikely to eat you whole no matter how grouchy or wilful it gets.

Image: Bernard DUPONT
The Kinabalu Crested Dragon is an agamid lizard found in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia.

It's named after one of the tallest mountain in southeast Asia, Borneo's Mount Kinabalu. After all, dragons are almost always associated with one mountain or another. Often that mountain is rather on the hot and steaming side, with occasional bouts of explosive rage and flowing lava.

Image: Bernard DUPONT
Mount Kinabalu by contrast is a lot more peaceful and appears proud of its vast biodiversity, from the forested lowlands to the jagged and occasionally snow-capped peaks. It wouldn't dream of pouring molten rock all over it. Either that or it is indeed dreaming of it, and therefore doesn't feel the need to actually do it.

The Kinabalu Crested Dragon isn't one for snow-capped peaks. They much prefer a firm footing on a good, sturdy tree branch. That's one of the things you can look forward to when you're a very miniature-sized dragon. They reach a mere 15 cm (6 in) or so long, not including a tail that can reach more than twice that length.

If you were cruel, not to mention foolhardy enough to try and pluck out the Kinabalu Crested Dragon's spikes and arrange them end to end, the result would probably be, er, quite long.

As befits a dragon, they're covered in spikes. Long ones on their head, short ones going all the way down their back and tail. Many think beards are most appropriately made out of hair, or at least fur. The Kinabalu Crested Dragon prefers spikes.

Image: Bernard DUPONT
And when a male extends his gular pouch, don't be surprised to find spikes on the end of it.

Aside from that, there's very little known about the Kinabalu Crested Dragon. What else is there? It's just a dragon...


TexWisGirl said...

the pouch extension with spikes is rather freaky. otherwise he's cute.

Joseph JG said...

He can use it to point at things!