Saturday, May 9, 2009


I know, I know, we're obsessed, lately.

Mom, you'll want to look away.

So, the boys were playing with the lizards today. They've named them and claim to be able to tell them apart. They're probably right.

"Quartz" is the lizard we caught earlier this week. He lives in the aquarium. "Bob", one of yesterday's catches, lives with him. We found them all snuggled together this morning keeping warm. Have I mentioned it's still pretty chilly here?

"Joe" will fight, so he has to be separated and lives in a five gallon bucket.

Anyway, they had the lizards out and were playing with them when I heard a commotion.


Okay, right there, let me point something out:
Some day I'm going to do a study.
I'm going to count how many sentences in one day start with, "Mom!"

But I digress...

"Mom! Ya gotta get down here and see this! Quartz' tail fell off and it's twitchin'!"

And then, a moment later,

"Mom! Really! Momyougottaseethisit'sstilltwitchin'!"

Somehow I resisted.

So, one by one, they appeared in my office with the delightful story. And pictures.

Exhibit A

I apologize for the blurry photo - they were excited.

Notice that Quartz is indeed sporting a rather stumpy tail.

And, (not for the faint of heart):

Exhibit B

The severed tail.

I made this pic smaller, but you can click to enlarge. It really is interesting if you're not the squeamish type.

About the boys - really, they're not cruel. They weren't torturing the reptiles. They had them out to hold, and all the lizards decided to make a break for it at the same time. There was a frenzy of grabbing for them, and ta daaaa.

Besides, it was the perfect opportunity for discussion, when Gunnar (looking out the window) asked, "Mom?! Why is his tail still twitchin'?"

Because God made it that way. If a hungry predator made a grab at the lizard, he might pull the lizard's tail off. If the tail just lays there (lies there?) the predator will be more likely to notice the lizard skittering off as fast as he can. But if the tail twitches around for awhile, the predator might be distracted by that, allowing the lizard time to escape. It's really his only defense. He can bite, but he's got no teeth that we can see, and he's not venomous. Okay, well, he has one other defense. He'll try to poop on you. Yuck, but not scary.

Gunnar, feeling sorry for Quartz, made a closer inspection and reported that his stump wasn't bleeding - there were just a few drops of blood that were already drying.


Deborah said...

Wow! Awesome science lesson, but I have to admit, I was feeling a little squeamish and had absolutely no desire to enlarge the photo :0). I had a gerbil growing up who had a shortened tail for the same sort of reasons, but I won't go into detail ;0).

barb said...

That is amazing. The LORD is amazing creating so many amazing creatures. I just had to see the enlarged photo - HOW COOL! It looks like something that plugs into something electrical. What cool excitement!