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Lizards make great petsThey're certainly not the most common of pets .... but you can learn a lot from a lizard!

From their awesome beauty -- to their Zen-like attitude toward life -- lizards are, in a word, fascinating...

Lizard species number in the thousands, but there are only a good handful that make all-around great pets. At the top of the list of easy-to-care-for varieties are the Pogona or bearded dragon, and the leopard gecko.

In turn, species like the Komodo dragon lizard can outgrow many households, while the delicate chameleon should be kept away from unintentionally rough handling by curious kids.

Just like humans, different types of lizards have different personalities, behaviors, handling needs, and feeding requirements. Generally speaking, lizards prefer controlled climates more closely related to their natural desert or tropical habitats, meaning warm, and not too moist.

Typical lizard tank setup

typical small lizard tank setup

Above, a 10 gal. aquarium tank with a screened lid includes a small shelter; food and water dishes; a humidity chamber (filled with moist peat moss to aid in skin shedding); a thermometer to measure temperature, and a hygrometer to measure humidity. An under-tank heating pad helps keep temperatures warm night and day. An overhead infrared heating lamp may be used an alternative or as an addition to the heating pad.

Since it is difficult to reproduce their natural diet (which consists mostly of insects or plants) feeding should be left to commercially prepared formulas for optimum nutrition. Also be sure to provide a dish of fresh water daily.

Lizard living quarters may vary with each species, but generally include a terrarium or aquarium tank with plenty of room for stretching and exercise, generous amounts of light and air circulation, and low humidity to avoid common bacterial or fungal diseases.

Around the Web, learn more about a variety of lizards available from pet stores and online breeders, how to feed, house and care for them, plus expert tips & advice on choosing just the right lizard for you and your household ....

More about pet lizards around the Web:

Lizards - Find expert tips on choosing, caring for, feeding and housing lizards including advice on how to keep them healthy with details on common lizard diseases, hygiene and breeding.

Husbandry, Diseases, Feeding & Care of Iguanas & Other Lizards - Excellent collection of informative articles on nutritional needs, specific disease conditions, hygiene requirements, nutrition and safety including tips & advice on raising iguanas, geckos, chameleons, bearded dragons.

Reptile and Amphibian Care Sheets - Lizards - Directory list to more information on bearded, plated and collared lizards, chameleons, iguanas, and geckos, plus scroll down to more on snakes, turtles & tortoises with links to recommended books.

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