Lizards: 14 Amazing Things You Should Know

Lizards make interesting pets, and there are numerous types of lizards you can choose to keep at home. Some of the popular lizards kept as pets include bearded dragons, leopard geckos, Ackies monitor, and green anole, each with different characteristics. Read on to discover whether your lizards like music, whether they smile, get sad, and more fascinating facts.

Check out 14 amazing things about lizards below.

1. Do Lizards Like Music?

Music is a great part of human life, and most enjoy listening to it while at home. However, if you have a pet, you need to be considerate of it. This is because different household pets react differently to music.

So, do lizards like music? Most lizards enjoy music. However, lizards are very sensitive to sounds and vibrations, which makes them like soft music only. Loud music will scare your lizards and make them feel uncomfortable. Also, considering lizards have unique personalities, some lizards do not like music. Therefore, you need to experiment with your pet lizard and see what kind of music it enjoys.

Lizards make interesting pets, and there are numerous types of lizards you can choose to keep at home. Some of the popular lizards kept as pets include bearded dragons, leopard geckos, Ackies monitor, and green anole, each with different characteristics. Read on to discover whether your lizards like music, whether they smile, get sad, and more fascinating facts.

Most household pets love listening to music, and some owners will leave their radios or television playing music while they are gone. You might enjoy Mozart and wonder if your pet lizard might have the same taste in music as you.

Most lizards enjoy music, especially soft music played in low volume. Lizards hate loud music and cumbersome music. You should try different types of music at low volume to see which one your lizard enjoys the most.

If you see your lizard moving away from the music or show other signs of discomfort, it does not like that music. You should know the body language your lizard displays every time they are stressed or uncomfortable. If your lizard likes the music, it will move close to it and stay still.

The reason why most lizards hate loud music is their sensitive hearing. Lizards have an acute sense of hearing as part of their defense mechanism. In the wild, they use their sensitive hearing to listen to sounds made by predators so that they can escape before it is too late. Even if their enclosure is safe, your lizard is still cautious about predators, and loud music means they cannot hear well; hence, they may try to move away to protect themselves.

2. Do Lizards Smile?

There are numerous pictures and videos on the internet showing lizards such as leopard geckos and bearded dragons with smiles on their faces. A smile is a facial feature among human beings that shows happiness. Therefore, it’s normal to be curious if, indeed, lizards can smile.

Unfortunately, lizards cannot smile. Some lizards have a mouth shaped in an upward curve, giving them a permanent smile. The smile on your lizard’s face is not an emotional response. The smile is just part of their physical appearance. Therefore, you should not use the smile on your lizard’s face to judge your lizard’s mood. The lizard could be scared or stressed but still displaying a smile.

Some lizards will spend most of their time with a paging mouth showing an open mouth smile. The lizard appears to be smiling with its mouth open to regulate its body temperature. Lizards cannot sweat to cool off. Therefore, they open their mouths to lose the excess heat. Therefore, if you see your lizard with an open mouth smile, you should reduce the temperature in its enclosure by turning off the heat lamp or moving the cage to a cooler place in the house.

3. Do Lizards Get Sad?

For a long time, emotions have been assigned to animals with highly developed brains, such as mammals and birds. Recently, scientists have researched lizards and other reptiles to determine if they can display or feel certain emotions.

Lizards do not get sad. Like other reptiles, their brains are not fully developed to process certain emotions. Sadness is an emotion most animals with developed brains feel when they experience something bad like lack of attention, abandonment, or grief. Lizards are not social animals. Therefore, they cannot feel sad if you leave your home to go to work or school.

However, lizards can get stressed, especially when you change external factors such as housing. Lizards prefer to live in certain conditions, and any sudden change will cause them to react aggressively.

For example, if you take your lizard out of its cage and place it in a different cage with other lizards, your lizard will become aggressive. Other factors that can cause stress include a poor diet, lack of exercise, small cage, and incorrect living conditions.

4. Do Lizards Know Their Name?

Naming a pet is among the first thing people do when they get their pet home. Most household pets such as cats and dogs will respond to their name whenever you call them. Lizards have good hearing abilities; however, you might wonder if they will react to your name when you call it.

Lizards do not know their name. However, your lizard can respond to the sound you make when calling its name and associate it with a positive thing. When you are feeding or taking your lizard out of its cage, you will call its name a few times. After doing it for several days or weeks, your lizards start to associate the sound you make when calling its name with food or exercise. The lizard will come closer when you approach its cage and call its name.

You can teach your lizard to respond to its name by calling it every time you feed it. You should also ensure that you use the same tone when calling your lizard’s name. Do not change the pronunciation.

For example, if you name your lizard Frank, you should maintain that name until it starts to respond. Do not change it to Francis or Frankie. You should be consistent and patient since it will take time before your lizard learns to respond to its name.

5. Why Do Lizards Just Sit There?

One reason why people choose to keep pets in their homes is companionship. You get to spend time with your pet by doing certain fun activities. As a parent, you may want to spend time with your lizard, but every time you approach its cage, you will find it in the same position it was thirty or one hour ago.

One reason why lizards sit in one spot for a long time doing nothing is to regulate body temperature. Lizards are cold-blooded animals and need an external source of heat to regulate their body temperature. A lizard’s cage usually has two sides, one warm and the other cold. The lizard will spend time on the warm side to increase its body temperature and move to the cold side to lower its temperature. Therefore, your lizard is doing something important when it is just sitting there seemingly doing nothing.

Another reason why your lizard is just sitting is that it does not have a complex brain to recognize boredom. Your lizard cannot think that it should be doing something at the moment. Therefore, if the lizard is full from eating insects and well hydrated, there is no need to wander around. The lizard will sit there until it is time to eat or escape danger.

6. What Time Do Lizards Go To Sleep?

Sleep is very important for pets, and it is also important to know how much sleep your lizard needs. A lizard that is not getting enough sleep can be cranky and aggressive, ruining the chance of spending quality time with it.

Most lizards are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night just like human beings. Nocturnal lizards, such as leopard geckos, hide during the day and come out during the night. When you have a nocturnal lizard, it should go to sleep at 6 AM. Most lizards require between 8 to 12 hours of sleep per day. However, if your lizard is diurnal, it should go to sleep at 6 PM, or 7 PM, or as soon as the sunsets.

To ensure uniformity, you need to create a day-night cycle for your lizard. A day-night cycle helps keep things consistent, removing the possibility of your lizard receiving too little or too much sleep.

You should create the day-night cycle when the lizard is young, and it is easier compared to older lizards. You do not need to keep the day-night cycle exact with the time the sun sets. You can even create a day-night cycle where the lizard sleeps at 9 PM and wakes up at 9 AM.

7. Do Lizards Move in the Dark?

Some animals can see well in the dark. When you are asleep, you cannot watch over your lizard; hence, the concern if it will be safe moving around the house in the dark.

Only nocturnal lizards can move in the dark. Nocturnal lizards such as the leopard gecko have well-developed vision, which allows them to see well in the dark. The lizard can see objects and hunt insects at night. One of the reasons why some lizards are active during the night is the fear of predators. If animals that hunt these lizards are active during the day, then, to avoid them, the lizards will choose to hide and sleep during the day and only come out during the night.

Another reason why some lizards will stay active during the night is the environmental conditions. Desert geckos are active during the night because of the extreme temperature of the desert during the day.

At night, the temperature in the desert drops, making it favorable for the desert gecko to come out and hunt. Sometimes, a diurnal lizard can move during the night, especially if it is unwell, the living conditions in its cage are bad, or it is disturbed by another pet.

8. Why Do Lizards Stop Moving?

If you observe a lizard walking around its cage, it is common for them to stop walking for a few seconds before continuing. There are a few reasons why your lizard stops moving.

The first reason why a lizard stops moving is the cold temperature in the habitat. In reptiles, cold temperatures make them inactive, and they will stay at the same spot for a long time. Cold temperature can also trigger brumation in lizards. Brumation is a method lizards use to withstand extremely cold conditions. The lizard will be inactive or sluggish. The lizard will also stop eating until the weather conditions improve.

Another reason is to check its environment for predators or prey. Lizards have eyes on the sides of their heads, and their forward vision is not that good. When the lizard is moving fast, it cannot see as far. Stopping and looking sideways ensures the lizards can see the environment around them and spot food, water, or predators.

9. Do Lizards Get Lonely?

Loneliness among household pets is a serious matter that can lead to depression. Different household pets require certain amounts of interaction with their owners or other pets to avoid loneliness.

Lizards do not get lonely because most of them are not social animals. Most lizards are solitary creatures and only interact with other lizards during mating. In captivity, lizards do not require a lot of human interaction compared to other pets such as dogs and birds. As long as you give your lizard enough food, water, and a heat source, you can live it alone for days, and it will not miss you.

10. Why Do Lizards Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them?

When you are holding your lizards and petting it, you might notice that it keeps its eyes closed. Lizards have poor communication skills, and it can be difficult to know if they are enjoying something.

Contrary to popular belief, your lizard is not enjoying the petting, which is a sign of discomfort. Your lizard is closing its eyes because it is surrendering to you. Your lizard knows you have captured it, and, it cannot leave. The lizard will close its eyes because eye contact among lizards is meant to be a threat or a challenge. Since you are bigger than your lizard, it will close its eyes to avoid confrontation.

11. What Smells Do Lizards Hate?

If you want to keep your lizard happy and comfortable, you have to ensure everything you remove every item it hates near it. Here are some items that produce smells that lizards hate.

Lizards hate the smell of coffee powder, eggshells, garlic, and naphthalene balls. Some people use these items to keep wild lizards from living in their houses. If you want to keep lizards from moving into your home, you can use coffee powder, mix it with tobacco powder, and place it where lizards might have access to your house.

Coffee powder is dangerous to lizards, and if your lizard consumes it, it might die. Therefore, if you have a pet lizard, ensure you keep it far from your coffee maker.

12. Can a Lizard Survive in a Fridge?

Lizards are cold-blooded animals and need an external heat source to keep themselves warm. If your lizard wanders into your fridge, you might be worried if it will survive staying in a cold place.

A lizard can survive in a fridge depending on the temperature, but it cannot stay in the fridge for a long time. In cold temperatures, lizards usually go into brumation to conserve energy, and during this period, they will not eat anything. However, lizards cannot stay in brumation for a long time and will starve to death.

Heat is also important for lizards to digest food. Inside the fridge, your lizard cannot digest food, and it will start to regurgitate food to avoid having digestive problems. If the temperature inside your fridge is freezing, your lizard will die a painful death.

13. What Happens If a Lizard Touches You?

Every lizard owner wants a pet they can interact with physically. It is not easy to find a lizard that will willingly initiate physical contact with its owner.

Lizards are not social animals, and if your lizard voluntarily touches you, it is an outstanding achievement. Sometimes, if your pet lizard touches you, it will run away or sit still, depending on your relationship.

Lizards in the wild will react differently; smaller lizards will run away, but bigger lizards will be aggressive and might even bite you. If the lizard does not belong to you, you should wash your hands to avoid getting infected with parasites and bacteria.

14. Why Do Lizards Die on Their Backs?

A pet’s death is a difficult moment, but it is an event every owner has to deal with in the future. Lizards usually assume a familiar pose when dying, which is lying on their backs.

A lizard dies on its back because it is too weak, and its nervous system is not functioning properly. When the lizard falls on its back, it lacks the strength or ability to coordinate its legs to stand up.

However, some lizards will fake it to fool a predator. If you notice your lizard is lying on its back and too weak to move, take it to a vet immediately.


Lizards make great pets, and there are many different species you can choose from. Considering lizards are not high maintenance pets, you do not need to set aside many hours in a day to take care of your pet. You only need to make sure that you have provided it with a safe and convenient space for shelter, adequate food, and the appropriate temperatures.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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