Why are there no lizards in China?

Lizard, Chinese crocodile lizard - Chinese crocodile lizard

Shinisaurus crocodilurus


The Chinese crocodile tail lizard is one of the rarest reptile species on earth, the world population is estimated at around 1,000 animals. They only exist in one region each in China and Vietnam. Since 1978 the stocks have decreased significantly, a decrease of up to 90% is assumed.

Crocodile tail lizards live in humid to semi-humid climates. They are very good swimmers; their distribution is closely linked to the proximity of water. The habitat is on ponds or slowly flowing waters up to an altitude of 700 m.
Crocodile-tailed lizards are viviparous, which means they hatch their eggs inside the body. This increases the safety of the eggs, as the clutches do not lie defenseless in the sand. The young lizards are independent immediately after hatching and look for their food on their own.

Further information here: Zoo animal lexicon



Crocodile tail lizards (Shinisauridae)


China, Vietnam


Water crabs, amphibians, insects, worms


40-45 cm

Breeding season

up to 9 months

Number of eggs