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Nictating Membranes on Tegus(Transparent 2nd eyelids)

Discussion in 'General Tegu Discussion' started by DMBizeau, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. DMBizeau

    DMBizeau New Member

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    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?
  2. slideaboot

    slideaboot Member 5 Year Member

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    Nope...but I'll look for it. Interesting.
  3. reptastic

    reptastic Moderator 1,000+ Post Club 5 Year Member

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    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!
  4. DMBizeau

    DMBizeau New Member

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    Yeah it does, should be a neat picture if you still have it.
  5. reptastic

    reptastic Moderator 1,000+ Post Club 5 Year Member

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    didnt take as long as i thought but i found it

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  6. DMBizeau

    DMBizeau New Member

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    Thats it, so cool how it blinks sideways too. Nice pic.
  7. reptastic

    reptastic Moderator 1,000+ Post Club 5 Year Member

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    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.
  8. Wil

    Wil Moderator 5 Year Member

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    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.
    Largelizards likes this.
  9. Jillian Simons

    Jillian Simons New Member

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    Hey guys! I’m new here and I found this page searching in reference to noticing my Tegus membrane! I’m feeding him and was in awe while watching, here’s a screen shot from a slow motion vid shutting his eye :)

    Attached Files:

  10. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club 5 Year Member

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    That is a beautiful FL. wild caught.