Ouroborus – Armadillo girdled lizard

Modern-day euoplocephalus (a herbivorous ankylosaurid dinosaur with spines)

These lizards, reminiscent of the prehistoric dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth, are armored with spiked carapace-like structures. This natural armor provides them with formidable protection, a necessary adaptation to life in a habitat where exposure to predators and the elements is a constant challenge.

Their coloration is perfectly attuned to their desert surroundings, with shades that range from mild to deep brown, effectively blending into the arid landscape. This camouflage is essential for both ambushing prey and eluding predators. The underbelly of these creatures is often a striking yellow with blackish patterns, particularly noticeable beneath the chin—a distinctive feature that sets them apart within the reptile kingdom.

These lizards are relatively small, with adults generally measuring between 7 and 9 cm (3.0 to 3.5 in). However, they make up for what they lack in size in their social structure and behavior. These reptiles are diurnal and active during the day when the sun’s heat radiates across the sand. Then, they emerge from their shelters to bask in the sun, forage for food, or interact with their kin.

These ‘monsters’ of the desert do not lead solitary lives; instead, they are often found in groups of up to sixty individuals of varying ages. They seek refuge in rock crevices, which offer protection from the harsh desert climate and predators. A social hierarchy is observed within these groups, particularly among males who are naturally territorial. A male will assert dominance over a particular region; within this territory, he will court and mate with females.