Rough-nosed Horned-Lizard Facts
- Understandably, this intriguing reptile, with its distinctive appearance, most frequently goes by the common name of the Rough-nosed Horned-Lizard. However, like many species throughout the world, the remarkable animal also holds another general name.
- In this case, that’s the more informative term of the Sri Lanka horned agama. Scientific professionals, such as researchers, though, tend to use the formal scientific name when referring to it. But that’s the relatively simple name of the Ceratophora aspera.
- It received this designation due to the work of a respected researcher. The German-born British zoologist, Albert Charles Lewis Gotthilf Günther holds that distinction. That’s because he accomplished the first recognition of it as a distinct species in 1864.
- Regardless of which term one chooses to employ, however, it’s a fascinating product of evolution. Its unique physical attributes also set it apart from all other known members of its genus. This only serves to enhance its particular appeal to researchers, though.
- Unfortunately, the Rough-nosed Horned-Lizard also seems to be dwindling rapidly in population. This regrettable trend further appears to hold true throughout the entirety of its range. The IUCN, therefore, currently lists the astounding lizard as Endangered.
- Several factors now threaten it. Habitat loss due to human activities ranks high among those, to be certain. Its greatest threat, however, now comes from climate change. Its own limited habitat range further serves to greatly augment the effects of each of these.
Rough-nosed Horned-Lizard Physical Description
Perhaps most incredibly, the Rough-nosed Horned-Lizard manages to pack all its intriguing characteristics into a very small body. That’s not completely surprising, though. That’s because Nature holds no distinction regarding such factors as size and impressiveness.
The creature does, however, stand out from the other members of its genus in one way. That’s where sheer physical size is concerned. That holds true due to the amazing fact that the animal displays a moderate degree of the physiological trait of sexual dimorphism.
More specifically, it manifests this aspect of its nature in the fact that females attain a slightly greater overall length than their male counterparts. This gender, though, only reaches lengths of about 1.6 in (4 cm). Yet the males remain moderately smaller in size.
This diminutive reptile also displays a striking pattern of coloring. This principally consists of a background of either dark yellow or light brown. A total of 17 darker bands, however, extend from head to tail. The space between these shows a much lighter shade.
Its body further develops with a slightly compressed shape. Each individual also possesses a unique, x-shape dorsal ridge, located directly behind the head. The creature further develops a very small crest, typically appearing along the region of the neck of the species.
The most noticeable trait of the Rough-nosed Horned-Lizard, though, remains the appendage to the nose. This marvel of nature distinguishes itself from related species yet again in this. That’s due to the fact the rostrum comprises up to 24% of the total length!
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Agamidae
- Genus: Ceratophora
- Species: C. aspera
Rough-nosed Horned-Lizard Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The astonishing Rough-nosed Horned-Lizard has one natural attribute that unfortunately works against it. That’s the fact that it evolved as endemic to an extremely limited habitat range. Evidence further indicates that it never existed outside that specific region.
This holds true because it only appears in a tiny part of the region consisting of southern Asia. In point of fact, the unique lizard lives only on one specific island. That’s the island comprising the nation of Sri Lanka, a site holding many other natural wonders.
Yet even there, its habitat preferences further limit its zone of habitation. Due to those preferences, the reptile only dwells in areas of high moisture, with copious vegetation. This most frequently consists of forested regions, the greater the density the better.
It also demonstrates even more levels of choice. The regions in which it chooses to make its home also tend to be predominantly comprised of local hardwood tree species. The majority of individuals further prefer to live at altitudes of no more than 2,953 ft (900 m).
Although the Rough-nosed Horned-Lizard dwells amid so many trees, it’s not an arboreal species. Rather, the animal makes its home amid the copious quantities of leaf litter on the ground. It also tends to live in mated pairs, at least once it reaches adulthood.
This marvel of Nature also feeds indiscriminately, consuming a wide range of local prey. This includes various insects and other small invertebrates. Following mating, the female lays her eggs in a well-concealed nest. Typically, a clutch consists of two eggs for this species.