One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An Old World lizard with a large head and a long tail, typically showing a marked difference in colour and form between the sexes.
Genus Agama, family Agamidae: many species
- ‘A color usually not visible might be flashed by some species, such as the African agama which turns to face an intruder and opens its mouth to expose the brilliant orange inside.’
- ‘The Agama lizard's head, neck and thighs are covered with spiny scales.’
- ‘His colour is not right for a Red-Headed Agama and yet there is no other Agama for the area in the book that fills his description’
- ‘Agama Lizards are active during the day and enjoy low humidity and sunshine (or UVB lighting).’
- ‘A brightly-colored blue and orange agama lizard suns itself on a rock.’
Late 18th century: perhaps from Carib (the name was originally applied to a West Indian lizard).
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