Uncovering the Myth of Hairy Lizards

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You may have heard someone say that some lizards have hair. But is this true? Can lizards be hairy? It’s a question that has perplexed scientists and laypeople alike for centuries, so let’s look at what experts have to say about whether or not lizards can indeed have hair.


Do Lizards Have Hair?


The answer to this question is complicated because it depends on which type of lizard you are asking about.

For example, some lizards do indeed have hair-like structures on their bodies.

These structures are called setae and can be found on some species of geckos, skinks, and other reptiles.

Setae are thin strands of material that help the lizard grip surfaces like walls and tree branches.

However, scientists don’t technically consider these setae hair because they don’t grow from follicles like mammalian hair.


Some Species


Some lizards have actual fur-like coats made up of tiny scales called spines.

These spines create an almost furry appearance, but again, this isn’t considered “true” hair by experts as it lacks the same structure as mammalian fur or hair.

The most common examples of these furry lizards are certain types of iguanas and basilisks (also known as Jesus Christ Lizards).




In addition to those two categories, another group of lizards is known as “hairy horned” or “horned toads,” which indeed have tufts of real mammalian-like fur growing from their heads and backs.

This fur is generally shorter than the fur found on mammals and has a more coarse texture, but it is still considered “real” hair by experts.

The most common example of this type of lizard is the horny toad (Phrynosoma cornutum), which is native to North America.




So, in conclusion, while all lizards cannot be described as having “true” hair as mammals do, certain species have either setae or spines, which give them a fuzzy or furry appearance in some cases. And then there are even rarer species, such as horny toads, which do possess genuine tufts of mammal-like hair on their bodies.

So while not all lizards can be described as having actual fur or hair, there certainly are some interesting exceptions out there! So if you’re ever curious whether a particular type of lizard has any parts of the body covering resembling fur or hair, remember—it never hurts to ask an expert.

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