Infrared Zoo Gallery - Collared Lizard

Infrared Collared Lizard

Lizards are cold-blooded and their body temperatures are close to that of their environment. Notice the difference in temperature between the cool lizard and the warm human hand. The lizard is a bit warmer than room temperature due to heat from the human hand holding it. When lizards are very cool, they have less energy. Collared lizards hibernate during long periods of cold weather.

In the above two images, the lizard has climbed onto a window sill to warm up in the sunlight. While doing so she walked through her water dish, leaving cool footprints on the sill. Notice the cold feet and tail. When a lizard basks, it usually, lies perpendicular to the sun's rays and often expands its rib cage to maximize its skin's exposure to sunlight. Lizards often have to warm up before getting enough energy to hunt for food.

Notice how the lizard's body temperature has risen as it basks in the sun! As a lizard warms up, its body metabolism rises, making it more energetic. When a lizard want to cool down, it will move parallel to the sunlight to decrease skin exposure, or move to a cooler, shaded area. Collared lizards in the wild, will also run fast on their two hind legs on hot days to generate a breeze and cool themselves.

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