New Zoo Baby: Fantastic Leaf Tailed Gecko

Leaf tailed geckos are a group of super cool lizards who are masters of camouflage.  They mimic dead leaves and twigs.  Their little legs look like tiny branches and their tails look just like dead leaves, all the way down to having veins and raggedy edges.  We are often hard pressed to find them in their enclosure.  Sometimes, you’re looking right at them and don’t even know it.

This species is called the Fantastic, or alternately, the Satanic leaf tailed gecko due to its pointy raised “brow ridges”.

Leaf-tailed geckos are found only on Madagascar.  They really should have had a leaf-tailed gecko as a character in the movie, that would have been awesome.  Populations are decreasing due mainly to habitat loss (sound familiar?) caused by logging, agriculture, and cattle grazing.  They are active at night and eat mostly insects.  Females lay 2 eggs at a time and the hatchlings look like this!

Baby fantastic leaf-tailed gecko
Baby fantastic leaf-tailed gecko

How adorable is that?  No offense to other geckos but I think this one is my favorite.  This little cutie hatched here at the zoo on February 17.



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