frilled lizard, frilled dragonimage credit:
frilled lizard, frilled dragonimage credit:
frilled lizard
image credit: Qld EPA

frilled lizardimage credit: D. Bruce Means
Habitat: northern Australia and southern New Guinea
Status: Least Concern

I remember reading about the Frilled Lizard when I was really young. It was one of those creatures that once you took a look at in a book you really never forgot about them. And for good reason! This guy is pretty incredible.

It gets its name obviously from the large frill around its neck which is connected to its jawbone by long spines of cartilage. When it gets scared (or during courtship or competition between males) it will open its mouth to expose a bright pink or yellow lining and flare its frill out in an attempt to freak the other creature out (or charm it I guess, depending on the situation).

Here’s some really cool footage of the Frilled Lizard defending its territory… but then wimping out and running away as a bird gets too close. Understandable.

(*spoiler alert*) It’s really crazy how they run on two legs isn’t it? You’re definitely not expecting that, let alone the humongous frill that just pops out of nowhere. Typically the Frilled Lizard just keeps its frill neatly tucked next to its face (check out the 2nd pic from the bottom) because, you know, you don’t want to come off as too flamboyant these days. Less is more.Oh and if you’re thinking to yourself, “Hmm… this freaky lizard looks kind of familiar… ::pondering face::” Well then you might be thinking of the movie Jurassic Park where that evil fat guy gets eaten by the dinosaur (he so deserved it). The dinosaur, Dilophosaurus, was portrayed with a fictional neck frill, which it raised during the attack and scared the shiitake mushrooms out of the guy and definitely myself as well when I was 6 years old or whatever.

Don’t remember the scene? Well then I present to you for your viewing pleasure… the Dinosaur-Eats-Evil-Fat-Man Jurassic Park clip.