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.
Plan Your Trip to Namibia
Home to the world’s oldest desert, Namibia is like no other country in Africa. You have many options for exploring Namibia, from self-drive safaris to having a guide with you every step of the way.
Want to see Namibia’s incredible wildlife in person? Schedule a free consultation and start planning your dream safari!