Amazing Predation by a Leopard Lizard

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Amazing Predation by a Leopard Lizard

Post by Fieldnotes »

Posted on Youtube by Emily Taylor

"On May 8, 2016, the Cal Poly Herpetology class observed an interesting predation event in the Mojave National Preserve.
A large adult female long-nosed leopard lizard killed a small adult desert iguana, then pulled off its tail.
She proceeded to eat the tail and left the body behind.

*Anyone know if this or something like this has been published in Herpetological Review?

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Chad M. Lane
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Re: Amazing Predation by a Leopard Lizard

Post by Chad M. Lane »

Woah! Now that's different, and a neat observation I've never heard of them leaving it behind, it may have been too much to choke down!


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Re: Amazing Predation by a Leopard Lizard

Post by DallasJolly123 »

wow! what an amazing observation!

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Steve Bledsoe
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Re: Amazing Predation by a Leopard Lizard

Post by Steve Bledsoe »

That's an amazing bit of video. I had no idea that Leopard Lizards did that. I wonder now if Collared Lizards exhibit the same sort of behavior? They're bad-ass lizards for sure!

I have a ring-necked snake that does a similar thing with skinks. The snake will stalk the skink and deliberately attack it's tail, then twist violently until the lizard loses the tail. The snake will them immediately devour the tail. If the skink is small enough, the snake will eventually stalk it and finish the job, but if the skink is a bit too big, the snake seems to be intimidated by it and won't take it on. It's very interesting to see, because it's obvious that the snake is clearly targeting the lizard's tail.

I'm thankful that I finally got this snake to eat FT pinkie mice. No more skinks for this guy .... EVER!

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Re: Amazing Predation by a Leopard Lizard

Post by lateralis »

Now that was cool.

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Re: Amazing Predation by a Leopard Lizard

Post by klawnskale »

Two possible reasons why this Gambelia did what it did: It is a gravid female and thus may not have as much room in its abdominal cavity to ingest an entire lizard at the time. It is full of developing eggs which take up a lot of room in the coelum. Secondly, it chose to eat the tail because it was the easiest to swallow and accommodate in the space remaining in its all ready crowded gut. The tail is primarily stored fat which is dense in calories and nutrition; so in terms of nutritional density for its mass, makes an excellent meal choice.

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Re: Amazing Predation by a Leopard Lizard

Post by jonathan »

I used to keep a good-sized adult leopard lizard and a good-sized adult desert iguana together in a large enclosure...I'm glad they never had these kind of issues with each other!

Although when I tried to add my mojave fringe-toed lizard to the mix, the leopard lizard ran around with it like a dog with a bone in its mouth. Thankfully, I was watching and was able to quickly rescue the fringe-toed, who was none the worse for wear and did just fine in its own smaller enclosure for the rest of its days.

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