Leopard Geckos are increasingly gaining popularity as an exotic pet in the world today, with leopard geckos being one of the most popular lizard pet worldwide. So, if you are trying the idea of caring for one of this lizard species, it is helpful to know information about these cute reptiles before you adopt one for yourself.
One of the most asked questions about leopard geckos are do leopard geckos have teeth?, since reptilians are renowned for their teeth which leaves us with reasonable fears.
This reptilian native to deserts of Middle East countries does have teeth. In fact they actually have 100 teeth in them from the day they hatch.
Table of Contents
- What Do Leopard Geckos Teeth Look Like? And How They Use Them
- Why Do Leopard Geckos Bite?
- How Bad Are Leopard Gecko Bites Really?
What Do Leopard Geckos Teeth Look Like? And How They Use Them
The first thing you’ll notice about a leopard Geckos teeth is their size and shape. They’re small enough to fit in your hand or even between your fingers. The average tooth length for this species is around 0.5 inches.
Leopard Geckos also have very sharp teeth with pointed tips. This makes them ideal predators because it allows them to easily cut through prey like insects without having to worry too much about injuring themselves.
The 100 teeth of a leopard gecko can be found along the sides of their mouths, just behind their eyes, and at the back corners of their heads. They’re also located near the tip of their snouts.
Unlike other animal types, lizards do not chew on their food, which goes the same for leopard geckos. Because they don’t chew, their teeth are not precisely arranged to allow them to shear, slice or grind the prey, but instead to seize, crush and kill the prey. They tend to swallow their food as a whole with the help of their tongues, jaw muscles and head movements, which are later broken down inside their stomachs.
Leopard geckos also use their teeth during their shedding mechanism. Geckos shed their skin several time a year. They use their teeth to pull the old dead skin from their bodies. It is said that the dead skin contains lot of nutrients and so leopard geckos tend to eat it.
Do Leopard Geckos Lose Teeth?
Leopard geckos lose their teeth once every 3 to 4 months. This animal is known to be polyphyodont, which means that those lost teeth will be replaced by new teeth immediately. A new smaller baby tooth will start to grow next to the grown tooth and finishes growing by the time the original tooth falls. In this way, the gecko will always have its teeth ready.
Why Do Leopard Geckos Bite?
A leopard gecko rarely bites its keeper or anyone else in that matter, because this reptile prefers fleeing away from danger rather than fighting with it. And no! They do not randomly bite anyone unless you provoke them. But there are still some cases where leopard geckos do bite. Baby leopards tend to bite more than adults.
Some of the common reasons for Leopard Geckos trying to bite someone are:
1. While Trying to Protect its Territory
Leopard Geckos can become aggressive if they feel threatened or when a new animal enters their territory. They will also defend themselves from predators such as snakes and birds that may try to steal the variety of prey items they can find in the area. If you have more than one leopard gecko, it’s best to keep one Gecko per Tank unless you want to share space with two lizards at once. This behavior is mostly shown among males; the mere smell of another male gecko could cause your pet Gecko to become alert or even bite you.
Also read: Leopard Gecko poop
2. If they Feel Hungry
Leopard geckos tend to bite their owners when they are hungry. So it would be a risk to hold a hungry gecko before completing their feeding process. This is mostly because leopard geckos see the skin of your fingers as a quick prey, which makes them to naturally bite you.
3. When Being Touched too much
Leopard geckos have been known to become aggressive when touched too much. This reptile pets show such behavior because they show fear towards larger animals. They would also bite if they feel stressed or annoyed.
If your hands start shaking uncontrollably while holding one of these pet lizards, let go immediately! This could indicate an underlying medical condition which needs immediate attention from a veterinarian.
How Bad Are Leopard Gecko Bites Really?
A leopard gecko bite is actually not dangerous at all, it doesn’t even hurt a lot; all you would feel is like your skin is being pinched. Even if they bite down on a large force, it wouldn’t do a huge harm since their teeth aren’t large or sharp. But make sure to wash the bitten area thoroughly with antibacterial soap to prevent any risk of infection.
A leopard gecko bite would also rarely draw any blood, but if a bite did draw any blood, seek treatment immediately before a bacterial infection occurs.
As said by experts, one of the biggest mistakes many people do when being bitten is to grab and remove the lizard off. It may seem the best option, but it would only cause worse problems. If you pull the lizard while it’s biting you, it can get pulled along with your skin tearing it and making the injury worse. As said, the best way to deal with this is to wait till the leopard gecko let go on its own. While this seems stupid, it might actually be the best option.
How Do You Open A Leopard Geckos Mouth?
To make any gecko to open his mouth, all you have to do is brush something against its mouth (use something that is not sharp or you’ll hurt it) and it’ll open up. Then you can insert water, food, or medicine into the mouth. Be gentle and don’t force the innocent creature.
So do Leopard geckos have teeth? Yes, many of them. Teeth are an essential part of any lizard’s diet. They help them catch food, keep from being eaten themselves, and also aid digestion.
However the good thing is that their teeth are not that dangerous or wouldn’t lead to major damages in any way to us humans, but don’t let that to put your guard down!
So now go ahead and adopt that cute little animal and give it a beautiful place where it could call ‘home’.