Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Frilly Lizard, Chlamydosaurus kingi

Wall detail of Frilled Lizard at Illawarra Grevillea Park

Our most noteworthy lizard carved into a block of a sandstone wall. The membranous frill in the real lizard is braced by cartilaginous ribs, analogous to the metal supports of an umbrella and is often coloured a striking red and yellow. It was the source of inspiration for one of the costumes in the film Pricilla Queen of the Desert. You have to go to the dry parts of Queensland or the Northern Territory to find it , not in desert but heavily timbered scrub-lands. When pursued it sprints rapidly with its tail held high off the ground.If capture seems inevitable,it whirls around, opens its jaws, erects its frill while emitting loud hissing noises from its wide open mouth. A frenzied attack may follow with much lashing of its thin whip like tail while at the same time biting savagely. Its jaws however are quite weak and it is incapable of inflicting a bite of much magnitude.

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