Lizard Musculoskeletal System

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Like other reptiles, lizards have a single occiptal condyle. Ribs are present on all vertebrae except tail and cervical vertebrae.


Several families of lizard can voluntarily discard the tail when seized by a predator. The discarded wriggling tail is thought to distract the attention of the predator, enabling the lizard to escape. The animal is able to grow a new tail, although the regenerated tail is never as long or well formed as the original.

Lizards that are capable of autotomy have a vertical fracture plane through the body and part of the neural arch of the tail vertebrae. Autotomy and regeneration occur in many iguanid species but not in many agamids, monitors and chameleons.