Egyptian spiny-tailed lizard spotted in Israel's South

The endangered species is native to the region and is harmless to humans, eating only leaves and vegetation.

May 28, 2019 14:43
An Egyptian spiny-tailed lizard in the South.

An Egyptian spiny-tailed lizard in the South.. (photo credit: ARIK WEINSTEIN/THE MIDDLE ARAVA)


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A resident of the Arava region spotted and photographed an Egyptian spiny-tailed lizard, the country's largest lizard species, in Israel's South on Tuesday.

The endangered species is native to the region and is harmless to humans, eating only leaves and vegetation.

Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards don't like to move too much, only moving during the day to find cooler spots after their body reaches a temperature of around 42 degrees Celsius. The animal is therefore hard to spot, only showing itself in extremely hot weather.

The species tend to reach an average of 80 centimeters in length (nearly three feet) and can weigh up to 3 kg (7 lbs).

"The animal is in danger of extinction due to habitat reduction, illegal trade, damage to bushes and travel in wadis and streams with vehicles," said Dorit Nirisneh, the head of the Hatzeva field school and a tour guide in the Arava region.

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