Cordylidae – Spinytail lizards

You can find them huddled up in rocky cervices in African deserts.

A family of small to medium-sized terrestrial lizards found exclusively in African rocky deserts and savanna and Madagascar. Girdled lizards, plated lizards, flat lizards, etc., best represent this family.

Typically, these lizards possess an armor of overlapping spiny scales. These scales cover their body from head to tail, but the lower surface of their body is soft. Add to this their bony head shields, and it looks like they are wearing a knight’s armor suit. Nevertheless, members of this family are nothing like a knight in their behavior as they quickly scurry for hiding places (cracks in rocks) or, finding themselves exposed to a threat, roll up into a ball. Like other lizards, their tails are readily detached to confuse predators.