What Animal Eats Lizards?

Written by: Akeem Eletu
Last updated on:
image of hawk

From the big Komodo dragon to the small common house geckos, lizards can be found in almost every part of the earth except Antarctica. They are famous for avoiding predators with numerous survival methods such as camouflage, reflex bleeding, and venom. 

Another impressive feature of most lizards is their ability to regrow their tail after losing it in a fight or struggle with a predator to stay alive. But the scales and rough nature of the lizard’s body begs the question; what animals eat lizards?

Here is an interesting article that discusses what animals eat lizards and how to protect your lizard if you happen to keep one as a pet.

Do Animals Eat Lizards?

Yes, lizards are prey to a long list of predators. In the wild, you will often find lizards running into holes, cracks, and other crevices when some other animals are in sight or within an unsafe distance. 

Although they are fast, they range in size from a few centimeters to about three meters, and this makes them susceptible to predators. Interestingly, not all of these predators are successful in defeating some lizards. So it is a game of chance.

What Animals Eat Lizards?

image of hawk and lizards

The following are some of the animals that eat lizards.

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Snakes

Snakes are one of the top lizard predators. Many snakes survive on lizards almost every day. They can easily overpower lizards by constricting them to death or using a nasty bite to weaken the lizard. 

But the killing strategy greatly depends on the size of the lizard and how dangerous it is. For smaller lizards, snakes will easily sneak up and snack on them. But for bigger and more dangerous lizards like the crocodile monitor lizard, the snake may end up being the meal.

Hawks

Hawks have always been predators of lizards since time immemorial. They are renowned predators of lizards. Quick and agile as they are, a hawk can sight lizards from afar and will usually attempt to take one down anytime it sees an opportunity. 

Since lizards are ectothermic, they will often bask in the sun to regulate the heat in their body, and this is how they become easy targets for hawks. Usually, the hawks sight them from a distance while scanning the area for prey. After sighting a lizard, the hawks dive into action to pick its unlucky victim. The difference in speed gives the hawk an advantage over the lizard. Smaller lizards can be picked and killed in no less than five seconds!

The hawk is so proficient in hunting lizards that a young hawk hatchling may eat about one and a half lizards a day.

Mongooses

Despite their small size, mongooses are vicious animals that feed on lizards. Their diet usually comprises insects, crabs, snakes, lizards, rodents, and small birds. Lizards are a convenient food source for these vicious animals that comfortably hunt, catch and kill venomous snakes for food when they feel like it.

The mongoose is a dangerous short-legged, and furry animal that lives in burrows. They feed on smaller animals but are reputed for carrying out daring attacks on bigger and more dangerous animals, including the king cobra. For these animals, a lizard is no more than a snack in a backpack when they feel like it.

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Cats

image of cats

Both wild and domestic cats will attack lizards when it is convenient. Although pet owners are less likely to permit their cats to eat lizards because of the danger of catching a parasitic liver fluke or Salmonella that can make them very sick, be sure that your cats will have a nice time stalking, ambushing, and wearing out your lizard pet before delivering a final blow if it is hungry enough to snack on it.

However, it is a different game entirely in the wild. Wild cats like Bobcats eat lizards often. You may find them bingeing on lizards every once in a while.

Raccoons 

Raccoons are typically omnivores. They enjoy vegetation and flesh. Although they enjoy live meat once in a while, raccoons usually eat lizards, especially one that has suffered a serious injury or has died. Also, if the lizard is a leftover from another animal’s kill, you can be sure that your raccoons will have a lizard feast. 

Possums

image of Possums

Possums are scavengers that prey on readily available things within their environment. They can easily catch lizards whenever they get the chance.

Possums are nocturnal animals. So, they miss out on the prime moment to catch lizards unawares when they feel sluggish in the sun during the day. But they will not hesitate to devour a lizard at the slightest opportunity. 

Other Lizards That Eat Lizards

The survival of the fittest rule also applies to lizards, even when they are of the same species. Hence, it is not uncommon to find bigger lizards eating smaller lizards. Smaller lizards are subjected to enemies within their species and outside. 

Although many lizards are carnivores, it is shocking to find that they see other lizards as a snack or even a meal. What is more shocking is that they will have a go at a fellow lizard despite the abundance of food in their habitat.

For instance, the big adult Komodo dragons can turn on their youngsters and eat them. Hence, baby Komodo dragons hide on trees to avoid being prey to older Komodo dragons.

However, some non-carnivorous lizards also exist that won’t prey on other lizards.

Final thoughts

It is shocking that other animals find lizards appetizing. This fact is even more unsettling given that lizards have rough, scaly skins and, unlike many other prey, have almost nothing enticing about them to make them look attractive for a meal.

Another interesting thing is the fact that even though lizards are carnivores, some take it a step further to even become cannibals. But the law of nature is just as timeless as nature. So even if you forget this long list of animals that eat lizards, when you think about what animals eat lizards, lizards should always come to your mind.

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