This truly unique reptile is internet famous for its uncanny resemblance to a baby dragon.
One look at this little creature and you will be whistling the theme song from Game of Thrones.
This modern-day “dragon” might not have wings but it does sport some impressive armor, hence the name.
The similarities to a mini dragon are striking and send our imaginations into a mythical spiked tailspin. The Armadillo Girdled Lizard is not only adorable but clever. They are territorial and use their impressive dragon scale-like armor to defend themselves.
Handsome yearling armadillo girdled lizard (Ouroborus cataphractus), photo by Tommy Benasco.The Reptile Report is made possible by DubiaRoaches.com
Similar to the armadillo, the Armadillo Girdled Lizard rolls into a ball when threatened to protect the part of their body that is most vulnerable.
They do this by biting their tail and exposing only the thick scales and spikes. We want to be scared but they are too darn cute.
Do you have your ‘House Targaryen’ flag flying yet?
It might be possible that these striking lizards sparked the imagination of past societies and inspired the dragon myths we know today.
Even if this isn’t the case, they are the closest thing on Earth that resembles the fabled dragons that live in storybooks and ancient myths.
‘Draconic creatures are first described in the mythologies of the ancient Near East and appear in ancient Mesopotamian art and literature. Stories about storm-gods slaying giant serpents occur throughout nearly all Indo-European and Near Eastern mythologies.’ – Wikipedia
There is evidence that dragons were based on actual evidence found by ancient people. For millennia no one knew how to explain the gigantic bones that were found around the world. Dragons may have been the easiest way to explain these discoveries.
These fantastic reptiles are native to desert areas along the western coast of South Africa and there is 80 species total.
They primarily prey on a variety of Arthropods such as crickets, spiders, termites, and centipedes. – Wild Attractions.
‘Their Latin name, (Ouroborus cataphractus), translates to the Golden Armadillo Lizard but they can also be found in light brown and dark brown coloration. Cataphractus comes from the Cataphract, an ancient Byzantine cavalry soldier that wore armor made of many small metal plates.’ – Wikipedia
These magical-looking beasts are all about family.
Living together in large groups of up to 30 to 60, they are very social creatures that protect their lairs along the rocky desert habitat.
No fire-breathing capabilities…but they do guard their ‘lair.’
In order to communicate with each other, these lizards use tail wagging, head bobbing and tongue-flicking. For example, tongue-flicking is a warning sign for intruders to leave. This species is one of the few lizards that does not lay eggs; females give birth to one or two live young. – animalia.bio
Sadly, the Armadillo Girdled Lizards are collected for the pet trade, which was a significant drain on populations but now is illegal. – animalia.bio
It is important to keep these stunning creatures in their natural habitat so they can continue to prosper and thrive…as well as inspire and feed our imagination about Earth’s very own little dragon.
Now watch this video below for an up-close look at the Armadillo Girdled Lizard.
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