Lizard Stirs Awake From Winter Hibernation

This is the moment a camouflaged lizard is forced to wake early from its winter hibernation after somebody seems to have irresponsibly lifted the stone under which it had been sleeping.

The person filming claimed the footage was a spring awakening that took place near the village of Paulinow in Masovian Voivodeship in central Poland, saying it was because the temperatures had risen to 14 degrees Celsius in the region.

Video Credit: CEN/Robert Kazanski

But the lizard can clearly be seen lying at the entrance to what appears to be its lair that had been disturbed after the item under which it was sleeping, probably a stone, was lifted up.

The film was made by Robert Kazanski who said he managed to spot and capture the small viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara) waking from its slumber in front of him and wrote online: “Spring is coming. This viviparous lizard slowly wakes up from the winter lethargy, so it can only be warmer now.”

Credit: CEN/Robert Kazansk
Such an early awakening is not very favorable because the cold can come back and surprise the awakened lizards

It is unclear who moved what was probably a stone under which it had been sleeping and Mr Kazanski was unavailable for a comment.

But Dr Krzysztof Klimaszewski, from the Faculty of Animal Science at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences confirmed: “Usually these lizards wake up from their hibernation in March.”

He added however that this February was unusually warm so the reptiles were also “tending to wake up earlier.”

Klimaszewski added that the lizards are cold-blooded so in order to survive the sub-zero temperatures in the winter they must hibernate underground in burrows, fissures, under stumps or piles of organic matter. 

He said: “This type of lizard is adapted to low temperatures. Such an early awakening is not very favourable because the cold can come back and surprise the awakened lizards.”

The viviparous lizard lives farther north than any other species of non-marine reptile and most populations give birth to live young.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Bartosz Staszewski, Sub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News


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