Thanks to light bubbly bones, most lacertid lizards are content scurrying in and out of nooks and crannies in walls and between rocks. However, some have opted for an arboreal life style.
Neon blue tailed tree lizards (Holaspis guentheri) leap from branch to branch as they scamper through trees in the African forest.
There are even anecdotes that the tiny African tree lizards can glide. But without any obvious adaptations to help them to upgrade a leap to a glide, it wasn’t clear whether the reptiles really do take to the air and, if they do, how they remain aloft.
Intrigued by all aspects of lacertid locomotion, Bieke Vanhooydonck from the University of Antwerp and her colleagues, Anthony Herrel and Peter Aerts, decided to find out whether neon blue tailed tree lizards really glide.
Journal of Experimental Biology