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Lizards are small reptiles, cold-blooded animals that have a long tail, eyelids, and usually have four legs (a group of lizards called amphisbaenas have no legs). There are about 2,500 different species of lizards. Only two of these species are poisonous.

Habitat: Lizards are found all over the world except in polar regions. Most live in trees (like the frilled lizard) or on the ground; only a few live in the water (like the great marine iguana). Lizards like to sun themselves to increase their body temperature.

Size and Color: Lizards vary in size from under 3 inches (7.5 cm) long to over 10 feet (3 m) long (Komodo dragons). They also vary in color. Ground- and tree-dwelling lizards are usually brightly-colored. Desert lizards are usually camouflaged. Chameleons can change their skin color to match their surroundings.

Regeneration: When a predator is attacking, the lizard can break off its tail in order to escape. The predator is often distracted and eats the tail as the lizard escapes. Later, the lizard will regrow the tail.

Diet: Most lizards eat insects (they are insectivores). Some eat bigger animals, like birds (these lizards are carnivores) and a few are plant-eaters (these lizards are herbivores).

Reproduction: Most female lizards lay soft-shelled eggs, but a few give birth to live young (like the slow worm).

Classification: Class Reptilia (reptiles), Order Squamata (lizards and snakes), Suborder Iguania (lizards).

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