Why Do Lizards Eat Their Babies? (Guilt-free Evil?)
If you have heard that lizards eat their babies you may be shocked and wondering, assuming it’s true, why they would do such a thing…
Why do lizards eat their babies?
A lizard may eat its babies but it is often not intentional. For example, if the lizard is unsure that the baby lizard is it’s own it may accidentally eat it. This is because lizards are known to eat other baby lizards for several reasons.
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So, now you know. But, do they eat other lizard’s babies? When are these babies regarded as adults? Do lizards have any love for their babies? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…
Do lizards eat other lizard babies sometimes?
Lizards will eat other baby lizards for several reasons. The most common reasons are its hungry, wants to eradicate its enemies or just pure hunting instinct. This is hard to understand looking at it from a human’s perspective.
However, in the lizard’s world, they have very different rules, which is known and acceptable behavior. This is why mother lizards have to protect their young so well, because they not only have to fend off known predators, like some birds, they also need to look out for their own kind.
3 Main reasons why lizards eat other lizards babies:
Earlier I discussed that a lizard will consume another lizard’s babies. In this section I will explain each reason in more detail:
Often a lizard will lap up a baby lizard, or lizard eggs out of pure hunger. They have no emotional connection to them and have no societal pressures to consider. It’s simply a case of if it’s in its path, and edible, it will take it. So, they are opportunists by nature.
All that a lizard will concern itself with, on a day-to-day basis, is that they get enough food, heat, and shelter. There is no emotional aspect to them.
02. Eliminates their enemy
When a lizard eats a lizards’ babies or eggs, it is a tactic to eliminate their competition. This may or may not be a conscious choice, like us humans, but it happens never the less.
Lizards, like most reptiles, or animals, act n instinct. If there is a moving small insect it will react instinctively and eat it. if it’s a smaller lizard than them, baby or not, it will eat first, and no thoughts later. It’s just pure instinct.
It’s like when a lizard puffs up its neck, it will do this instinctively, in an attempt to fend off its enemies or to attract a mate.
Do lizards care for their babies?
Liards do not offer much care for their babies. Their main focus is making sure they are born successfully. Whether that be a live birth, or waiting for their eggs to hatch. Unlike humans, they do not have a long-term emotional connection to their offspring.
This is why lizards can eat other lizard babies, they do not value their lives in the same way that humans do for their young. It is just the nature of their lizard kingdom.
When does a lizard baby become an adult?
A baby lizard will become an adult from as early as 18 months up to 7 years of age, depending on its species. However, from birth, or hatching, they can run around and consume similar food to their parent. Meaning, they are quite self-sufficient from this point.
But, even though they are quite self-sufficient. They are still vulnerable to other predators, or lizards that may want to make them their next meal.
Do lizards lay eggs or live birth?
Many lizards lay eggs, however, some do also have live young. Lizards that lay eggs are known as oviparous, and the ones that have live young are known as viviparous. An example of a viviparous lizard species is the skinks, particularly the Solomon Island, blue-tongue, and shingleback skinks.
For the lizards that lay eggs, they will need special conditions for successful hatching in a domestic environment. This includes, for example, special substrate, heating requirements, etc.
What do lizards feed their babies?
Baby lizards and hatchlings will eat similar food to their mothers. For example, small insects, worms, etc. Unlike other pets they will not start life sucking on milk from their mother, they will be provided with live food to eat. In some cases, smaller offerings will be needed due to their size.
Lizards are different in this way because many babies from other animal species, such as dogs or cats, will rely on their mother for their milk until they are old enough to eat solid food. At which point they are usually weaned.
Do lizards love their babies?
Lizards are not known to love their babies. They will offer some care and attention to either give birth to them or while they are waiting to be hatched. But, after this, they will get limited, if any real aftercare. This is far from love when compared to a human’s life-long love for their offspring.
Lizards, unlike us humans, are very practical and react on instinct. Meaning, they are not likely to understand love or have any way of showing this emotion. This emotion is generally reserved for humans.
How long do baby lizards stay with their mothers?
A rare collection of lizards, known as the desert night lizards (Xantusia vigilis) are known to stay with their mothers for a few years after birth. But, this is an exception to the rule, because most species of lizards have limited time with their mother after birth.
These lizards are known to be viviparous, meaning that they give birth to their young rather than laying eggs, like other lizard species like Leopard Geckos.
The theory is, the fact that they birth live offspring may contribute to the fact they stay with their mother. But, it’s unproven because other lizards, such as the blue-tongued skink, also have live young without this similar behavior.
How long can a baby lizard go without eating?
baby lizards are known to last as long as a week without food, or even longer. But, it is not advised to test this limit, or even get close to it. They need regular food at this age as they are still growing and gaining their strength.
Depending on the species of lizards they may need regular daily feeds or less. For example, a baby Bearded Dragon may need to eat several times per day. And, this will generally be a selection of insects like their mother. But, the size of the insects is important, it can’t be too large.
A general indication, used by lizard owners t gauge an acceptable baby lizard food size is the length of it. If it is less than the distance between each eye, then it is generally fine for them to consume.