We humans have been obsessed with dragons, everyone for different reasons.
Whether it’s from TV such as Game Of Thrones or board games like Dungeons And Dragons, or even from your favorite fairytale, they are everywhere.
So it’s no surprise that we got very excited when we discovered the armadillo lizard, one of the most unique creatures on earth, AKA the mini dragon.
The armadillo lizard (Ouroborus cataphractus), gets its name from the way it curls into a ball as a defense, just like an armadillo would. It’s thorny outside skin make it look like the worlds most unique and eccentric reptiles.
It has sharp, strong armour, just like an armadillo which means it’s extra protected when curling into a ball.
These dragons hide in rock crevices in South Africas desert in big family groups in order to protect themselves from the areas harsh environments as well as predators.
Surprisingly, these little creatures enjoy a little sunbathe and are only of the only reptiles that don’t lay eggs.
Currently, there is a problem with these little dragons being such popular pets, they require little to survive and are easy to catch.
Because of this, illegal trafficking with these animals has increased and the animals are facing a big threat to their population.
As mentioned, they are pretty easy to catch, this is due to their slow-moving nature.
If they didn’t have a body of armour-like spikes to compensate for this speed, they would be in trouble.
They are found in South Africa and although they may look like a fearsome dragon, they do in fact prefer to run off when approached by other creatures.
You can find these lizards in a variety of colors, anything from light yellowish brown to darker brown, all the shades of the desert really.
Once the armadillo lizard is fully curled up, everything is covered except its soft belly. So it uses other body parts as another layer of protection. This unique defense keeps it safe from its predators such as big birds and snakes.
These mini dragons only really stretch around four inches in length and can live for over a decade.
Their diet is pretty unique for their type of lizard. They prefer small insects and invertebrates, especially termites.
The males of the species are naturally territorial, and when it’s mating season, they are even more protective of their area as well as their female partner.
Since they do not lay eggs, they only give birth to one or two of their offspring in a year.
They are considered to be social creatures and are known to form communal groups of over 60 lizards at a time.
It is very rare to spot one of these lizards on its own in the wild.
Unfortunately, the biggest threat to these creatures is humans, they make perfect pets and because of that have been booming in the illegal markets.