In this article, we’ll answer the question:
“Are lizards dangerous?”
First, you’ll find a short summary about the dangerousness of lizards in general, then get specific answers about these reptiles like are lizards aggressive, will they bite, do lizards eat humans, etc.
Lizards are a group of squamate reptiles with more than 6,000 species and range in size from small chameleons to large Komodo dragons.
Are Lizards Dangerous?
Most lizards are not dangerous to humans; however, some lizards are poisonous and can harm a person if they are touched or bitten by these reptiles. Certain lizards, such as the Komodo dragon, can grow to large sizes and have been known to attack and kill people.
According to the Guinness World of Records, “The Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) is a large, up to 60 cm (24 in), heavy built, brightly coloured lizard that lives in the arid parts of Mexico and southwestern USA. They have eight well-developed venom glands in their lower jaws and carry enough venom to kill two adult humans.”
However, lizards typically only become dangerous to humans when they feel threatened. Most lizard bites occur when humans try to handle them or catch them. As a result, it’s best to leave these creatures alone in the wild and not attempt to handle them in captivity unless you are sure the species does not pose danger (e.g., a pet lizard).
Are Lizards Aggressive?
Some lizards are aggressive to humans and other animals. Aggressive behavior in lizards occurs in both the wild and in captivity when lizards feel threatened, are defending food, or protecting their territory or mate, which are all methods that ensure their survival in nature.
The most common types of aggressive lizard behavior include biting, hissing, and tail whipping. While these behaviors may be intimidating to humans, they are usually not enough to cause serious injury.
Fortunately, there are only three known species of lizards that are venomous. According to Kidadl, “The Komodo Dragon, the Mexican Beaded Lizard, and the Gila Monster constitute the three scientifically poisonous lizards in the world.”
Lizard experts recommend that people who are afraid of or unaccustomed to dealing with lizards should practice caution when observing these animals. If you notice any aggressive lizard behavior, remain calm and move away from the reptile slowly. Additionally, it is good to avoid feeding pet lizards live food, as this can often provoke an aggressive reaction.
Do Lizards Bite?
Lizards do bite when they feel threatened as a form of self-defense. Most lizard bites happen when people try to catch these reptiles in their hands to remove them from their property. However, a lizard’s bite is usually not severe and will heal on its own.
Now, some lizards can deliver a painful bite that may break the skin because they have sharp teeth. These bites usually occur when the lizard is being handled roughly or feels threatened. If a lizard bites you, it is vital to clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water to prevent infection.
Do Lizards Attack Humans?
Lizards do not attack humans and are only aggressive if the lizard feels threatened by people. A lizard will typically give physical warning signs before an attack so you know it is feeling aggression.
While lizards do not typically hunt or attack humans on purpose, there have been many cases where individuals have been bitten or scratched. These lizards have been known to attack ankles, legs, and feet, so it is important to keep yourself safe when handling a lizard as a pet.
It is best to avoid provoking a lizard in the wild as it can be somewhat dangerous when it feels threatened. If a lizard does attack you, or attempts to bite or scratch you, try to remain calm and move away slowly. If you have a pet lizard and it attacks your hand, arms, legs, or face, then you should seek medical attention to prevent infection.
Lizards do not eat humans. Lizards eat a variety of small animals, insects, fish, mice, mollusks, crabs, fruits, and vegetables.
Are Lizards Friendly?
You can visit our other guide about are lizards friendly to find out how nice these reptiles can be to people in the wild and at a zoo.
Lizard Dangerous & Aggressive Summary
You now know the answer to the question about are lizards dangerous.
As you discovered in this guide, lizards do not eat humans or attack people unless they feel threatened. Therefore, are lizards aggressive or not depends on if these reptiles are being encroached upon by people in nature or in captivity.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.