Uromastyx, Spiny-tailed Lizard, or Mastigure as some may see these members of the Agamidae family called are increasing in popularity as of late. This is both alarming and gratifying for me; this is my favorite lizard. I have enjoyed the Uromastyx species since I first arrived in the private sector of reptile keeping over a decade ago now. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Cue wavy lines of memory montage
I walked into a privately owned pet store to begin work. I was feeding and cleaning enclosures as I had done a hundred times before (probably more but who’s counting)? I was interrupted by the manager. He asked me to go to the back and grab the seven-bean dried soup mix from the cupboard. I did as asked, thinking to myself
“Damn, it’s only 10 am and this guys having lunch already?”
As I walked towards my then employer, he informed me
“Put some of the beans in that dish.” He said pointing to a large enclosure I’d suspected of being empty.
I poured soup mix into the dish and out from the hide came what I can only describe as
“a tortoise without a shell.”
The creature then walked to the dish, picked a bean up of its choosing, then snapped it in half with what looked to me like a wink. After getting over my fear reaching into the enclosure; thinking this ‘lizard’ I’d never seen before would tear my digits off in a fit of rage, I began to interact with it daily. Read on…