A pair of iguanas


Since emerging from water millions of years ago, lizards have diversified into a weird and wonderful group of cold-blooded reptiles. From the mesmerising colours of the agamas to the vibrant adornments of frilled lizards and the sheer size of the king of monitor lizards, the Komodo dragon, lizards come in many shapes and sizes. Explore the links below to discover why chameleons change colour, why geckos and skinks lose body parts and how glorious slow motion film reveals the Jesus lizard's ability to walk on water. Watch ground-breaking videos from Life in Cold Blood, Planet Earth, Galapagos and other series as they unveil the fascinating lives of lizards.

Scientific name: Lacertilia

Rank: Suborder

Watch video clips from past programmes (7 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

View all 7 video clips


Map showing the distribution of the Lizards taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

Amber Amber
Amber owes its existence to the defence mechanisms of certain kinds of tree. When the bark is punctured or infected, a sticky resin oozes out to seal the damage and sterilise the area.

BBC News about Lizards

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Life in slow motion Life in slow motion

    Slow motion filming techniques transform amazing wildlife moments into full scale events, and simple action into incredibly detailed video sequences.