Posted on Fri February 4, 2022.

Some facts that make the geckos that share our homes such amazing and interesting creatures.

Have you ever wondered what laid those tiny hard-shelled eggs you sometimes find around your house in the Bushveld? They are gecko eggs and the female that laid them could have been pregnant for years with those eggs inside her before she decided to lay them! Geckos are the only reptiles that lay hard-shelled eggs!

This is just one of the interesting facts that make the geckos that share our homes such amazing and interesting creatures.

Geckos can shed their tails to escape a predator and grow a new one after that! In fact, gecko’s tails are an amazing evolutionary adaptation! Under a very powerful microscope, “cut lines” where the tail meets the body can be seen and these cut lines work the same way the perforations on a roll of toilet paper do. Luckily for geckos, their tails always separate at the perforations!

At the end of their spinal cord in the tail, there’s a control centre, a sort of mini brain. When the gecko sheds its tail, this control centre takes over and causes the tail to wriggle, squirm and jump for up to 30 minutes, allowing the gecko plenty of time to escape!

Geckos are nocturnal hunters, and you will often see them seemingly “stuck” to your ceiling or on a windowpane. How do they pull this off? Scientists have known for long that gecko’s toes are covered in magic hairs called setae. They now know that the angle and tension of each of these thousands of setae is under the instantaneous control of the gecko, allowing it to stick to a surface or release itself from that surface, in milliseconds!

When it does release itself from a surface and fall, the gecko’s incredible tail once more shows its ability. Again, in milliseconds, the gecko uses its tail to position its body to land flat and safe!

Geckos live exclusively on live insects, including mosquitos, so they are very handy to have around the house. If you have a phobia about reptiles and simply can’t abide them in your house, get someone who is not scared of them to gently move them outside. They are completely harmless so there’s no reason to be afraid of them.

These amazing little creatures are one of evolution’s true success stories. They are found on every continent except Antarctica and in virtually every habitat including deserts, rain forests and mountains. They are a source of wonder here in Marloth Park. Show them the respect they deserve!

Be sure to book your Safari Accommodation next to Kruger National Park at Needles Lodge to admire these wonderful creatures.