Hydrosaurus Lizard: Sail-Fin Water Lizard

image: Peter Miller

Hydrosaurus lizard looks so unreal, and its name makes it sound like a dinosaur. In fact, it does not look like a prehistoric animal; making them even more interesting. It also goes by other names such as crested lizard, sail-fin lizard, soa-soa water lizard, and more. There are 5 species of them in total, and they all look absolutely impressive. Feel free to check out some more details about hydrosaurus lizards below.


The sail-like structure on the tails has earned the hydrosaurus lizard the nickname sail-fin lizard. A hydrosaurus lizard can grow up to 91 centimeters long for males while females are slightly smaller. Its body has a combination of greenish-gray while the dorsal crest, face, and tail have bright markings in blue and purple shades. Overall, their colors are very striking for a lizard and that is the real beauty. Not to mention some species look extremely intimidating, they are one of a kind. The crest stretches from the dragon’s head down to its back and tail, and it is the tallest on the tail. Speaking of heads, hydrosaurus lizards also have a pineal eye on their forehead that is sensitive to sunlight.


image: Animalia

This dragon is semiaquatic so it hangs out both in water and on land, and they nest near water. Hydrosaurus lizards lay eggs in shallow holes that they dig in the soil above the flood line. A clutch usually has from 2 to 8 eggs per breeding season. The most impressive part? They can run short distances across the water with the help of the fringe on their flat toes. When threatened, a hydrosaurus lizard will get up on its hind legs and scoot across the water surface. Some of their common predators are large birds, fish, and snakes.

3Feeding & Habitats

As omnivores, these dragons feed on both meat and plants that they can find in their environments. While mainly feeding on fruits and vegetables, they are also fond of fish, frogs, and insects as well. Now that’s the thing, hatchlings eat more meat in their diet while adults don’t because they don’t have diverse teeth. Without the teeth, a carnivorous diet can be very challenging for them this is why fruits and vegetables are better options.

There are 5 hydrosaurus lizard species, and 4 of them are native to Indonesia and another species is native to the Philippines. They live in tropical forests, and usually near waters such as mangroves and rivers. A few species have become vulnerable due to the exotic pet trade, habitat destruction, and habitat degradation.

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