Meet The Lizard That Looks Just Like Spiderman

Illustration for article titled Meet The Lizard That Looks Just Like Spiderman

Meet the Red-headed rock agama, Agama mwanzae. The lizard, native to East Africa is a fascinating critter, and not just because it likes to cosplay as Peter Parker's alter-ego.

These lizards are unique among agamids - there are more than 350 species in the Family - because they cluster in groups. They may group together because there are limited hiding spots for them to hide in the rocky outcrops of Eastern Africa, but grouping may also help the "cold blooded" creatures retain heat during the cool night. Group-living may also make it harder for predators to pick out a single individual.

Not all Red-headed rock agamas sport the Spiderman look, though. According to Sarah Keartes, who writes at Earth Touch, it's just the dominant male.

Each group has one dominant male (the 'cock lizard') that will develop this amazing comic-book colouration to attract females and to ward off males from rival territories. Incoming threats will be met with "swift, agressive head-bobbing motions," followed by a battle of beauty – in a clash, the brightest male will always come out on top.


Other males, along with the females and juveniles, have more subdued coloration: olive green, grey, and purple. But the cock lizard's resemblance to Spidey is uncanny!

Illustration for article titled Meet The Lizard That Looks Just Like Spiderman

Read more about the Spiderman lizard and see more great photos at Earth Touch.

Images: Tambaka/Flickr; Ke1jzer/Flickr; Ricky Brigante/Flickr.


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Captain Max and JINX

This top one is a dead ringer for the Hobgoblin. Sony is really going to some extreme lengths to market their movies.