The Gecko From Hell: Fugly Friday
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the FUGLIEST one of all? So far, it is a satanic leaf-tailed gecko which does indeed look like it crawled up from the bowels of hell.
In the wild this little guy is found only on the island of Madagascar, a place that is home to many unique species not found elsewhere. It is an arboreal species designed to be camouflaged in the rainforest. When full-grown it is 2½ to 6 inches long. The gecko has no eyelids, just a transparent covering over each eye. The little lizard uses its tongue to wipe away anything that gets in its eyes. Its eyes are over-sized to aid in its nocturnal lifestyle. It can come in a variety of colors, including yellow, tan, orange, or purple, but is most often brown.
He may be fugly, but the World Wildlife Fund has the satanic leaf-tailed gecko and his cousins listed among the "Top ten most wanted species list" of animals threatened by the illegal trade in wildlife, because of its "being captured and sold at alarming rates for the international pet trade." Despite the creation of protected areas for conservation, illegal hunting continues.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger