Gecko vs. Lizard
A gecko is a specific type of lizard known for adhesive toe pads, while a lizard is a broad term for a group of reptiles with scaly skin and elongated bodies.
Difference Between Gecko and Lizard
While all geckos are lizards, not all lizards are geckos. It's a subset relationship. Lizards are a vast group with over 6,000 species, while geckos form just a part of this group with around 1,500 species. Another key difference lies in their habitats and behaviors. While many geckos are nocturnal, other lizards can be diurnal, active during the day.
Lastly, the vocal abilities of a gecko set them apart from most lizards. Geckos are known to produce sounds, from chirps to barks, especially during mating or when defending their territory. While some lizards may also produce sounds, it's not as common as with geckos.
A gecko's physical characteristics are quite distinctive. Their eyes, for instance, are often large and without eyelids, which means they lick their eyes to clean them. When you think of a lizard, the image may vary as the term "lizard" is more generic. Lizards come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, not strictly adhering to the features of a gecko.
Geckos are intriguing creatures that belong to the vast world of reptiles. They are distinctly recognized by their adhesive toe pads, which enable them to climb smooth surfaces with ease. Lizards, on the other hand, represent a larger group of squamate reptiles that encompass a variety of species, including geckos, but also other types like iguanas, chameleons, and monitors.
Gecko vs. Lizard Comparison Chart
Specific type of lizard
Broad group of reptiles
Adhesive toe pads, often large eyes without eyelids
Scaly skin, elongated bodies, varied features
Number of Species
Over 6,000 (including geckos)
Known to produce sounds
Some species can, but not as common as geckos
Many are nocturnal
Varies; can be diurnal or nocturnal
Gecko vs. Lizard Definitions
A small lizard that can cling to smooth surfaces.
The gecko's toes allow it to stick to even glass surfaces.
A reptile with scaly skin, four legs, and a long tail.
The lizard basked in the sun to regulate its body temperature.
A reptile known for its ability to produce sounds.
I heard a gecko chirping outside my window last night.
An elongated reptile that may or may not have limbs.
The legless lizard looks similar to a snake but has different anatomy.
A lizard that lacks eyelids and often has translucent skin.
It's fascinating to watch a gecko lick its eyes to keep them clean.
A creature that can often regenerate its tail when threatened.
The lizard dropped its tail as a defensive mechanism against the predator.
A member of the Gekkota infraorder, comprising various species.
Geckos are diverse, with species adapted to different habitats.
A diverse group of reptiles with over 6,000 species.
From chameleons to monitors, lizards showcase incredible diversity.
A nocturnal and often vocal lizard with adhesive toe pads.
The gecko climbed the wall effortlessly with its sticky feet.
Any of numerous squamate reptiles often classified in the suborder Lacertilia, characteristically having a scaly elongated body with a tapering tail, four legs, movable eyelids, and external ear openings.
Any of various chiefly nocturnal tropical and subtropical lizards of the family Gekkonidae, characteristically having toe pads covered with numerous tiny bristles that adhere to vertical surfaces.
Leather made from the skin of one of these reptiles.
Any lizard of the family Gekkonidae. They are small, carnivorous, mostly nocturnal animals with large eyes and adhesive toes enabling them to climb on vertical and upside-down surfaces.
Any reptile of the order Squamata that is not a snake or an amphisbaenian, usually having four legs, external ear openings, movable eyelids and a long slender body and tail.
(rare) To move in the manner of a gecko; to attach to a vertical or upside-down surface.
Lizard skin, the skin of these reptiles.
Any lizard of the family Geckonidæ. The geckoes are small, carnivorous, mostly nocturnal animals with large eyes and vertical, elliptical pupils. Their toes are generally expanded, and furnished with adhesive disks, by which they can run over walls and ceilings. They are numerous in warm countries, and a few species are found in Europe and the United States. See Wall gecko, Fanfoot.
(colloquial) An unctuous person.
any of various small chiefly tropical and usually nocturnal insectivorous terrestrial lizards typically with immovable eyelids; completely harmless
(colloquial) A coward.
(rock paper scissors) A hand forming a "D" shape with the tips of the thumb and index finger touching (a handshape resembling a lizard), that beats paper and Spock and loses to rock and scissors in rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock.
(in compounds) A person who idly spends time in a specified place, especially a promiscuous female.
lounge lizard; lot lizard; beach lizard; truck stop lizard
Any one of the numerous species of reptiles belonging to the order Lacertilia; sometimes, also applied to reptiles of other orders, as the Hatteria.
A piece of rope with thimble or block spliced into one or both of the ends.
A piece of timber with a forked end, used in dragging a heavy stone, a log, or the like, from a field.
relatively long-bodied reptile with usually two pairs of legs and a tapering tail
a man who idles about in the lounges of hotels and bars in search of women who would support him
A cold-blooded vertebrate of the Squamata order.
Lizards can be found in various habitats around the world.
Gecko vs. Lizard Frequently Asked Questions
Is it true lizards can be found worldwide?
Lizards are diverse and inhabit various regions, but not all areas of the world.
What distinguishes a lizard from other reptiles?
Lizards have scaly skin, elongated bodies, and typically four legs.
Do all geckos make noises?
While many geckos are known to produce sounds, not all species do.
How many species of geckos are there?
There are around 1,500 known species of geckos.
Which is larger in terms of species: geckos or lizards?
Lizards encompass a larger group with over 6,000 species, while geckos are a subset of this group.
Can lizards regenerate body parts?
Many lizards have the ability to regenerate their tails when threatened.
Are geckos a type of lizard?
Yes, geckos are a specific type of lizard.
Why do geckos have sticky feet?
Geckos have adhesive toe pads that allow them to cling to smooth surfaces.
Are there lizards without legs?
Yes, some lizards like the legless lizard don't have limbs and resemble snakes.
Do geckos have eyelids?
Many geckos lack eyelids and instead lick their eyes to clean them.
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