Bird Families

Long-tailed Thrush Thymelia / Argya caudata


Longtail six-lane

Six-striped longtail(Takydromussexlineatus)

Family - real lizards


Takydromussexlineatus, Asian grass lizard, six-lane long-tailed lizard, or long-tailed grass lizard is an arboreal, diurnal species of lizard. The tail is usually three times the length of the body (muzzle for removal) in this species.

Males and females are similar; males differ in the presence of preanal pores. On average, they grow to about 12 cm without taking into account the length of the tail. Some individuals may have small circular patches on the sides of their bodies. Like geckos, they can shed their tail when attacked and grow a new one.


Takydromussexlineatus is found throughout Southeast Asia and is native to a number of countries including India, China, Thailand, and Indonesia. The ocellatus subspecies is found in areas such as southern China, northern Burma, and northern Malaysia.


They are fully diurnal lizards that emerge early in the morning to bask in the sun. If a potential predator approaches, they will first remain completely motionless, and then, if the danger persists, they will flee to safety under the leaves. Both genders use hand-waving gestures (similar to sailors' signaling alphabet), apparently to communicate with each other. They are very mobile and fast, move quickly in the grass and are able to climb bushes. In case of danger, he willingly goes into the water and swims well.

The diet of these lizards is the same as that of other counterparts, it consists of insects and arachnids.


Females lay eggs, like most lizards, at least 2 times per season. During the breeding season, females lay up to 17 eggs. At the end of August - at the beginning of September, along the sides of country roads, you can already meet young long-tail.

Keeping in captivity

They are kept in horizontal terrariums. As a substrate, you can use crushed bark, potting soil or sand, depending on the preferences of the animals. They can be kept in groups of several males and females. Nevertheless, representatives of this family are not tamed and require very careful handling, since they have great agility and easily escape from the terrarium or discard their tails under stress.

Lizards can be fed small crickets, and like other small lizards, calcium supplementation may be required. It is advisable to vary the food in captivity, including mealworms, sterile larvae, or wax worms in addition to crickets, although captured insects can be fed.

Unlike some of the larger reptiles, these lizards have very fast reactions and jump into the air to catch flying prey such as flies.

Want to know everything

Belt-tails belong to the reptile family of the suborder lizards. The family includes about 70 species.

Girdle tails are diurnal lizards, the size of various members of the family ranges from 12 to 70 cm. Girdle tails live in the rocky and arid regions of South Africa, and are also found on the island of Madagascar. Belt tails live in rocky deserts and semi-deserts, thickets of bushes, savannahs, certain types of belt tails rise high in the mountains. Quite often, lizards live on rocky outcrops, among the placers of boulders.

Belt-tails differ from other lizards by the presence of large scales in the form of rectangular plates that cover the bone base of the reptile. The scales are especially large on the back; on the belly, it is less developed. The scales located on the tail form wide rings (belts), due to which the family received the name "Belt-tails".

Why the belt-tails are folded into such a ring, you will find out under the cut and even watch the video.

The body of the girdle tails is colored light or dark brown, thanks to this color they are also called golden girdle tails. There is a dark pattern on the abdomen, which is especially pronounced in the chin area.

The teeth of the girdle tails are homogeneous, pleurodont. The eyes of the girdle-tails are well developed, with a round pupil, separate and movable eyelids. Certain types of girdle tails have well-developed five-toed limbs. On both sides of the body of the girdle tails, there is a special fold, which is lined with small scales, facilitating, like in fusiforms, eating, breathing and laying eggs.

Girdle tails live on rocky soils in groups. Belts are active during the daytime. Cracks in rocks, burrows, and cracks between stones serve as a refuge for the girdle tail.


In times of danger, the small girdle tail curls up into a ball, while capturing the tip of the tail with its teeth, for this it is also called an armadillo lizard. In this way, the small girdle-tail defends its vulnerable spot - the abdomen. Interestingly, in this position, the small girdle tail cannot be separated. Some belt-tails, at the moment of the onset of danger, hide in the cracks between the stones, cling to their claws and swell, resting against the walls of the shelter, in this way the belt-tails do not allow the attacker to pull them out of there.

Most of the representatives of the family are ovoviviparous lizards, but there are also oviparous species. Belt-tails living in the southern part of the range can hibernate due to the fact that the ambient temperature is very high in summer and very low in winter. Some types of belt-tails, especially common in the northern part, do not hibernate during the winter season.

In nature, certain types of girdle tails feed on insects, while other species are completely herbivores. Larger girdle tails, which reach 70 cm in length, prey on small mammals and other lizards that are smaller than themselves.

It is almost impossible to determine the sex of the waistband. But, as a rule, females are smaller than males, in addition, females have a lighter head, which has a clearly expressed triangular shape. Males reach sexual maturity by the age of three.

The lifespan of girdle tails is more than 25 years. Small girdle tail in captivity can live 5-7 years.

All types of girdle tails have their own characteristics and fundamental differences. So, in some species of girdle-tails, all limbs are very well developed, while in others they are completely absent or are in a highly degraded state (as, for example, in the khamezaurs). The diet of the girdle tails also varies greatly for each individual species. Some of the representatives of the girdle tails feed on insects, while others are completely herbivores. But, the largest belt-tails, the size of which reaches seventy centimeters in length, hunt small mammals and lizards smaller than themselves for food.

Belts that live in the southern regions of their distribution area go into hibernation, freezing during cold weather. However, there are also such types of girdle tails (mainly in the northern part of their distribution) that do not hibernate in the winter season. Different types of girdle tails have different defensive strategies. Particularly distinctive of them can be called the self-defense of the small girdle tail. This type of girdle lacks hard scaly plates in the abdomen, making this place the most vulnerable. Therefore, during a premonition of danger, the small girdle-tail curls up into a ball, biting itself on the tail very tightly - so that it is impossible to separate it. This is how the small girdle-tail defends its vulnerable spot.

The girdle genus includes the following species and subspecies:

  1. Real girdle tails (small girdle tails, giant girdles, common girdles, East African girdles).
  2. Plasitaurus
  3. Hamezaur

Each genus of girdle tails, in turn, includes several subspecies.

But this video shows why it was named that way:

And I'll show you a few more dragons, look: Armored pangolinand here's another one Pocket dinosaur

Description of the bird

The Ural Owl, also known as the Ural Owl (Strix uralensis), is a large and majestic bird first discovered and classified in the Urals.

The second part of the name translates as "not food" or "insatiable creature" and in both variants there is no doubt that the predator really has an enviable appetite, and in ancient times it was strictly forbidden to hunt and eat owls.

What does it look like

Like all representatives of owls, the tawny owl is distinguished by a large range of beautiful feathers, strong paws and a neat curved beak.

Owls are excellent hunters, their distinctive feature is their noiselessness and keen hearing, which allows them to determine the movement of victims from a long distance.

  • average female weight - up to 1.5 kg,
  • the average weight of a male is up to 1 kg,
  • body length - up to 70 cm,
  • wingspan - 115 cm, length of one wing about 40 cm,
  • tail length - 30 cm,
  • the long tail is wedge-shaped and has dark stripes,
  • general color of feathers - light ocher with a silvery sheen and brown markings,
  • the abdomen is white-buffy or white with expressive longitudinal markings,
  • the head is formed by a neat facial disc of small feathers,
  • there are no external (false) ears, real ears are hidden under a layer of feathers,
  • paws are completely covered with white feathers with specks to the very claws,
  • the iris of a dark brown color with a brown tint,
  • the beak is bright yellow,
  • powerful black claws.

Like other owls, females are much larger than males. By coloring, males do not differ very much from females.

The long tail protruding from under the folded wings is the calling card of the Ural beauty.

Character and lifestyle

The bird of prey is active in the dark - at dusk, at night, as well as on cloudy days.

The Ural Owl is a bird that forms perennial pairs with a permanent habitat. Often, the territory of owls' life remains with a pair throughout their entire life, while the nest, for safety reasons, is transferred.

The settlement density of owls depends on the amount of food and the population of rodents in the region. The average distance between pairs varies from 1.5 m (in favorable conditions) to 10 km (decrease in the number of prey).

Like other owls, birds fiercely guard the nest and offspring, get along well with neighbors, without showing excessive aggression.

If a person approaches, the predator does not go into conflict, but quickly and gracefully disappears into the depths of the forest.

What eats

Owls are known as silent and professional carnivores, most of which are consumed by various small rodents.

The diet may include:

  1. rodents (voles, shrews, squirrels, chipmunks),
  2. frogs, lizards,
  3. large beetles,
  4. sparrows and other small birds.

The hunt takes place from an ambush. The bird listens to the surrounding sounds, precisely determines its position and, due to the unique structure of feathers, silently dives towards the victim.

Sometimes a tawny owl can attack not only small mammals, but also catch a small hazel grouse or black grouse.

Where dwells

The long-tailed owl is a representative of owls with a large habitat, including:

  • the territory of mixed forests of the Russian Federation,
  • the space from the lower reaches of the Vistula, Scandinavia to the shores of the Pacific Ocean,
  • Sakhalin Island, South Kuriles,
  • the coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Sea of ​​Japan,
  • Korean Peninsula,
  • South Kalyma basin,
  • Carpathians,
  • Balkans.

The most attractive for the Ural owl are areas of mixed forests with a large number of coniferous trees.

Places where the predator lives:

  1. the outskirts of the forest,
  2. close location of swamps,
  3. glades,
  4. burning, deforestation.

The owl hunts in open areas, which is why spaces with a large view are considered attractive for close arrangement of a bird's nest.

For a nest, an owl can choose:

  • old nests of other birds of prey,
  • hollows of old stumps,
  • under the protection of a fallen tree stump or low spruce paws,
  • artificial owls,

The large habitat and the spread of the population across the continent led to the appearance of significant differences between representatives of the same species. At the moment, ornithologists distinguish up to 9 subspecies of the predator, depending on the habitat (geographic forms).


Owls live in pairs and also raise offspring together for many years. Breeding features:

  • masonry is observed in April,
  • average number of eggs from 2 to 4 pieces,
  • eggs are white, oval,
  • average egg weight - 46 g,
  • the female incubates the clutch from the first egg, tightly covering the future chicks with her wings and her body,
  • during the entire incubation period, the male is responsible for finding food and hunting, the female owl does not leave the nest and eggs,
  • the incubation period of one egg is 28 days, the chicks in the clutch are born with an interval of 1 day,
  • during the next month, the female also does not leave the nest and helps the chicks to tear apart the food that the male brings,
  • chicks in the nest are quiet and do not attract too much attention.

Owl females can show aggression even towards humans and large predators, driving them away from the nest with their offspring. Like other owls, the owl appears suddenly, driving away an unwanted guest, and the effect of surprise is only beneficial.

Unfortunately, the mortality rate among young animals is up to 50%. Only 2 cubs from the clutch survive to the adult state.

Natural enemies

The tawny owl is not part of the permanent diet of large predators. As usual, an owl can become a victim of such animals and birds as:

  1. eagles,
  2. golden eagles,
  3. hawks,
  4. bears (ruining nests).

Large predators are more aggressive and can attack the owl. There are also cases of attacks by other representatives of this species due to the struggle for territory at a high density of owls.

However, the greatest damage to beautiful birds is caused by disease, lack of food supply, climate change and poaching.


The life cycle of the Ural owl is characterized by migrations and wintering in milder conditions. Birds move long distances and can be found in the steppes.

Long-tailed Owl in the Red Book

On the territory of the Russian Federation (a large part of the bird range), the long-tailed owl is often found, despite being classified as a protected and rare species.

Starting in the second half of the 20th century, the owl expanded its habitat to the south and west and significantly restored its numbers.

The main causes of extinction

Despite the caution and peaceful nature, the following dangers exist for the existence of the owl, leading to the extinction of the species:

  • the spread of poaching,
  • clearing old forests and planting new plants (owls prefer more resilient ecosystems),
  • extermination of the food supply.

Rodents make up almost the entire diet of owl animals, in addition, medium-sized predators and large rodents (rats) can eat small mammals. Significantly extermination of murine rodents increases competition for food resources and negatively affects the number of birds.

Current population situation

The species is included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, and also entered in the regional books of the Moscow, Lipetsk, Tver, Ryazan, Tambov regions and the Republic of Tatarstan.

The bird belongs to rare breeding species (3rd category) due to fluctuating numbers due to direct dependence with the volume of other rare animals that make up the food supply.

Do I need to take measures to protect

The following bird protection measures are currently applied:

  1. identification of places of permanent arrangement of nests,
  2. the formation of artificial nests,
  3. organization of reserves.

However, the greatest benefit in protecting vulnerable species of animals remains the fight against poaching and increasing the biological literacy of the population.

Interesting facts about the bird

The long-tailed owl is an amazing representative of the animal world, about which several truly interesting facts are known:

  • The bird's voice may sound like barking or humming. The owl is distinguished by a large number of variants of the sounds emitted.
  • The average life expectancy in natural conditions is 10 years, in captivity (with good care) the life of a bird can increase up to 20 years.
  • The silent movement of owls is not just a talent, but fine-tuned flight mechanics combined with a unique wing structure. The edge of the owl's wings is covered with a bristly border, and the outer side is covered with soft plumage - all this muffles the sounds of the air cut during flight.

  • Even in comparison with the flight of other owls, the tawny owls differ in the manner of flight. Usually, the body of an owl when flying is parallel to the ground, while the Ural beauty slightly lowers the tail of the body.
  • If the year is rich in rodents, the owl makes provisions to feast on and rest.
  • The average daily amount of food is 125 g.
  • In mountainous areas, the owl is found at an altitude of up to 1.6 km.
  • If a fallen chick is found, a person should not touch it. If the little owl is not injured, it can return to the nest on its own.

Owls have always enjoyed the love and respect of humans. These noble and beautiful birds do not pose a threat to the economy and, on the contrary, regulate the number of rodents, as the main carriers of various diseases.

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