Curtin, Charles B. Department of Biology, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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The common name for any of the numerous small lizards in the infraorder Gekkota. Members of the reptilian infraorder Gekkota (order Squamata) are called geckos (see illustration). These small lizards are distinguished by a flattened body [never exceeding 35 cm (14 in.) in length], a long sensitive tongue, and adhesive pads on the toes of many species (which assist the animal when climbing on smooth surfaces). Most species have five digits, whereas some have only four. Primarily arboreal and nocturnal, geckos occur in the warm regions of the world. Globally, there are approximately 1500 extant species of geckos. See also: Reptilia; Squamata
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