Physical characteristics

Agamids range from commonplace to bizarre to spectacular. They are small, medium, and large diurnal terrestrial v

The flying lizard (Draco volans) has folds of skin that enable it to glide through the air. (Photo by Stephen Dalton/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
Frilled lizard display. (Illustration by Wendy Baker)

lizards. (Some are arboreal or saxicolous.) None is fossorial. All agamids have movable eyelids, and all have legs. Scales are irregularly shaped and are rough, spiny, or keeled in many but not all species. Enlarged scales are scattered across the dorsal surface in many species, and some have dorsal crests of enlarged scales along their spines. Tails do not regenerate. Many agamids possess intrascalar pores. Head scales are usually smooth and are seldom enlarged. The external ear opening and tympanic membrane is conspicuous in most agamids (with the exception of some Australian Tympanocryptis and Indian and Sri Lankan Otocryptis). Many agamids exhibit striking sexual dimorphism in body size as well as dichromatism (sexual dimorphism in color patterns).

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