Geckos can be a very nice pet to have. They’re exotic and unique, and if you’re a fan of these sorts of animals, then of course you can get a lot of happiness from having a gecko in your home. But geckos aren’t like a lot of other lizards. They have their own characteristics and biology, so many people will ask if geckos are lizards.
Well, we can confirm that yes – geckos are lizards! While they do have some differences from other lizards, geckos are still lizards. Of course though, there’s a lot more to know than just this. So we’ve written this handy guide that explains everything you need to know.
We’ll look at what geckos are, along with plenty of other handy pieces of information. Ready to learn more? Then read on for the answers!
What Is A Gecko?
Geckos are reptiles and within this family, they are considered as lizards. They can be found on every continent except Antarctica and they can actually survive in a variety of different climates and conditions. However, despite the fact that geckos are lizards, they have a few distinct differences.
First, geckos lay eggs in pairs rather than in large clutches which other lizards usually do. Second, geckos have a vocal ability, which lizards cannot do. They can make chirping noises and even barking sounds.
The third difference is that geckos usually have sticky toes which they use to climb various environments, and they don’t have any eyelids which a variety of lizards do. In fact, there are 6000 different species of lizards on the planet, and 1500 of these are geckos!
What’s interesting about geckos is their unique abilities, which many other lizards share. One such ability is to detach their tails, and when this has been grounded, it moves around and attracts predators to it – allowing them to escape from danger. In the following weeks, their tail will grow back and their wound will heal.
Geckos are four legged creatures and are cold blooded vertebrates like other lizards, but they are categorized in a suborder known as Gekkota – or geckos.
Are Geckos Dangerous?
No, at least not really. Geckos aren’t venomous and are generally unharmful to humans. If distressed, they can bite and this can be a little itchy and possibly pierce the skin, but it shouldn’t be too bad.
Of course, if you are bitten by a gecko, it’s important to clean the area with antibacterial soap – and if necessary, seek medical advice, in case of infection or allergies.
Geckos As Pets
As a result, it’s perfectly okay to have a gecko as a pet. However, there are a few things you will need to know. Let’s explore these points a little more below.
As with other lizards, the main food source for a gecko is bugs. Much like they would have in the wild, you need to ensure that your gecko has enough bugs to eat on a daily basis. It’s wise to speak with an exotic pet store for more expert advice.
Once you have sought some advice, be sure not to overfeed your gecko and keep them eating a healthy diet. Even though they are lizards, geckos can still suffer the same effects of overeating or diet-based illnesses that other animals and even humans can.
Geckos should be housed in a vivarium. These are clear tanks, similar to an aquarium – but without the water, of course. These tanks need to have a heat source with a temperature gradient, a light source and a mimicked environment from their usual habitat. The heat source with a temperature gradient is important.
Geckos, like other lizards, need to have both hot points and cool areas so they do not overheat or freeze, and it allows them to self-regulate their own body temperature.
UVA lighting is recommended inside their tank which helps the gecko maintain healthy bones and scales, but also to keep the gecko in good spirits – as some studies have shown that a gecko’s mental health can suffer without a light source.
In terms of mimicking their natural habitat, you will need to have an area for cover and some sawdust or similar material. This allows geckos assistance with their shedding, and it also boosts their feelings of safety when they have a place to hide.
One of the first things we need to point out is the fact that you should never grab a gecko’s tail. As we mentioned earlier, geckos can detach their tail as a defense mechanism – and it’s not a great way to develop a bond with your pet.
It’s important to note that some geckos (and indeed other lizards) may feel nervous when you first handle them. As a result, it’s possible that they might bark or show signs of aggression. They may even run away.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to leave them alone for about five days from when you first have them in your home and allow them to destress themselves and feel more comfortable in their new home.
It’s critical that you do not hold them too tightly. Hold them gently and allow them to move over your hands slowly and keep a surface nearby in case they drop. When some time has passed and you’ve spent more time with your gecko, they should be more familiar with you.
Geckos can be one of the best pets to have, but there are some critical points to remember. Yes, they are lizards and they should be treated as such if you decide to have them as a pet.
Just be sure to follow some of our points in this guide and you and your gecko should be fine! We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and it’s helped you understand your gecko a little more. Good luck both!