Information

The gecko - profile


Characteristics

Surname: Gecko
Latin name: Gekkonidae
class: Amphibians
size: 2 - 30cm (depending on the species)
mass: ?
Older: 5 - 15 years
Appearance: gray, yellow, green, blue, orange
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Beetles, grasshoppers, larvae
distribution: worldwide
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: day or night active
habitat: species-dependent (including desert, rainforest, steppe)
natural enemies: Snakes, birds
sexual maturity: approx. from the second year of life
mating season: ?
Number of possible offspring: 2 - 3 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the gecko

  • Geckos or Gekkonidae describe within the Schuppenkriechtiere its own genus, which consists of about 1200 previously known species.
  • According to fossil finds, the first representatives of geckos inhabited the earth almost a hundred and fifty million years ago.
  • In contrast to lizards, geckos have a soft and tender skin that is made up of tiny scales that are barely visible to the naked eye. These often result in striking patterns and drawings and appear in bright colors such as orange, green or yellow in many species.
  • As highly adaptable animals, geckos are present on all continents of the earth and many remote islands and colonize different habitats such as savannas, deserts, semi-deserts, grasslands and forests in tropical and subtropical regions as well as mountain ranges of different altitudes. The few European species are found exclusively in the Mediterranean.
  • Within the family Gekkonidae there are both daytime and nocturnal species. While the nocturnal geckos, which make up the bulk of their species, appear in inconspicuous colors such as black and brown, and have a vision adapted to the darkness through their cleft pupils, diurnal species stand out above all through their brightly colored skin. The split pupil guarantees the predominantly in the darkness living species that they are not dazzled in strong light.
  • A striking feature of many geckos are also the curved and protected by a transparent lower eyelid eyes with a pupil, the edges of which are slightly flipped outwards.
  • Many geckos have on their toes instead of claws highly specialized, on suction cups reminiscent adhesive lamellae, with which they can easily climb up horizontal and smooth surfaces and even move upside down. Only a few soil-dwelling species do not have these adhesive lamellae.
  • Geckos are well-accustomed and communicate with each other over long distances through sounds that are similar to chirping, knocking or quacking noises. These sounds serve to defend the area and allow males and females to mate with each other during the mating season.
  • Outside the courtship time, geckos live as loners and retreat to their hideouts under tree barks, in dense foliage or under stones during the day. In the night they mainly hunt insects, spiders, worms, centipedes and small reptiles. Only a few species live in group associations.
  • Geckos are easy prey for birds of prey, snakes and predatory mammals such as wildcats. When geckos are caught by predators, they confuse their attacker by dropping part of their long tail. This gradually grows back, but rarely reaches the original length.
  • The continuous destruction of their habitats threatens in particular the species of geckos that are native to the rainforests of the tropics and subtropics.