Agamidae – Agamas

Surfing to gliding, they do it all!

Agamidae is a diverse family of terrestrial and arboreal lizards. They are often called dragon lizards because of their scale shapes and brightly colored appearance. Agamids are considered the old-world counterparts of iguanas, although they’re also found in Australia. Despite being closer to Iguanidae, they have acrodont dentition, a feature common to chameleons. Their habitat is primarily rocky or sandy deserts and dry forests.

Members of this family show a spectacular range of adaptions. To name a few, Hydrosaurus lizards have modified foot scales that help them run across water surfaces using their hind legs. In contrast, Draco lizards (flying dragons) glide through the air using their membranous winged structures—results of dramatic rib modifications.