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Nictating Membranes on Tegus(Transparent 2nd eyelids)

DMBizeau

New Member
I don't know if anyone else had noticed this (it was the first time I had ever seen this since I have been owning tegus). But I thought it was really neat since there isnt alot of scientific information out there about tegus.

Yesterday I let the tegus soak in the tub for a few hours in the dark. When I moved them back into their enclosures I observed Hannibal blinking a second set of eyelids that looked much like the nictating membranes that crocodilians have so they can see underwater while protecting their eyes. After further observation he continued to blink them for about 30 seconds before closing his eyes to take a nap.

Now that I have seen it happen I will have to look more closely after taking them out of the tub to see how often they actually do it.

Anyone else notice their tegus doing this before?
 

reptastic

Moderator
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
i have seen nero do it, i even have a pic of it somewere but i have to find it first. it looked like she was blind!
 

reptastic

Moderator
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
thanks, i cant remember if any of the other tegus did it ( im sure they did), although i have seen igunas do it. but it is interesting how it went side ways.
 

Wil

Moderator
5 Year Member
Actually, the nictitating membrane can be found on several species of animals. They are found in birds, reptiles, and even some mammals. It serves several different functions depending on the animal. Most commonly it is used to protect the eye and to clear debris from the eye.

The main purpose of the nictitating membrane in crocodilians is to protect the eyes during the violent thrashing of feeding. I would say that the tegus use them for feeding and to protect the eyes during digging and adverse weather conditions. I have observed that, physiologically and behaviorally, tegus closely parallel with the crocodilians.

Good job seeing it. As I always say, observation is better than any "care sheet" you can find.
 
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