World Lizard Day, celebrated on 14th August every year.
As with most of the oddities; the origins of this day are unclear.
It is celebrated across political boundaries by the niche of reptile-lovers, conservationists and educators.
Most celebrations of this holiday occur at the local level, through events organized by schools, natural history or science museums, zoos, national parks, conservation NGOs etc.
These can vary depending on the audience involved, but information sessions and fun activities usually remain a constant.
Local pet stores may hold events for kids, to acquaint them with the pros and cons of keeping a lizard as a pet.
Online communities also take this opportunity to pay homage to the cold-blooded reptiles, and increase the information flow around them.
World Lizard Day has not yet been taken up for serious conservation work by international agencies; or organizations like the IUCN or WWF, and is focused on creating awareness of the reptiles, apparently mostly as pets.
Lizards are cold-blooded reptiles that live around the world in many different habitats; from the urban sprawl to the Amazonian rainforest.
Different species feed differently; and there are insectivorous, omnivorous as well as carnivorous species.
Many species are rare and difficult to study; leading to a paucity of scientific research around their biology as well as habits.
It is common knowledge that lizards are able to drop their tails if caught by them; and also run away completely unharmed.
Their tails do grow back usually, but not as smoothly as the originals.
An interesting and more obscure fact is that horned lizards can squirt blood from their eyes
to confuse and foil predators and protect themselves.
There are over 5600 species of lizards alive today, and many of them are endangered species; with habitat loss as well as predation by non-native species like cats and dogs being the primary threats.
There are some venomous species, like the largest true lizard, the Komodo Dragon, as well as the famous Gila Monster.
Most common species, including those kept as pets; usually do not venom potent enough to harm humans.
Keeping of exotic pets like lizards is a slightly controversial issue; but it also does keep interest in these wonderful creatures alive.
And as long as they remain in the public eye, conservation efforts can remain hopeful.
World Lizard Day thus provides the opportunity for a fun celebration of a reptilian fascination.
A chance to teach our kids about the world around us.
World Lizard Day seems geared towards helping those who enjoy reptiles to celebrate them; as well as those who don’t to learn about them.