Shovel snouted lizard (Melores anchietae)
Shovel-snouted lizards are small, fast, and good at dancing! To keep cool on hot sand, they lift their feet in an alternating pattern. This gives each foot a brief break from the heat. It also makes it look like the lizard is trying to dance! For this reason, you might hear them called thermal dancing lizards.
Other names include Anchieta’s dune lizard, in honor of a Portuguese explorer, and the sand-diving lizard, because they tunnel into sand to escape danger or the heat. The lizard’s shovel snout helps it burrow quickly.
The shovel-snouted lizard has a special organ that stores water collected from morning mists. This and other adaptations help it tolerate temperatures as high as 111°F.
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