California Alligator Lizard


Domain--- Eukarya

Kingdom--- Animalia

Phylum--- Chordata

Class--- Reptilia

Order--- Squamata

Family--- Anguidae

Genus--- Elgaria

Species--- coerulea

     The Northern Alligator Lizard is classified in the Domain Eukarya, because
Lizard next to flower
it is a multicellular animal that has cells with nuclei. It is

in the Kingdom Animalia, because it is an animal that has

lifelong development. Members of the Animalia

kingdom require consuming other organisms to maintain

life (Margulis & Champan, 2009). The Northern Alligator

 Lizard is part of the Chordata Phylum, because it

 contains a dorsal nerve chord and a post anal tail (Xian-

Guang, Aldridge, Bergstrom, Sieveter, 2008). The classification for Class is Reptilia based on the

 animals’ dry, scaly skin. Another characteristic contributing to Reptilia is the laying of eggs with

 hard shells (Meyers, 2001). The Order Squamata is the newest and largest order of the reptiles.

 Members of this Order shed their outer epidermal skin (Bursey, Goldberg, Telford, & Vitt,

 2012). The Family Anguidae has small or absent limbs, resembling a snake (Bursey, Goldberg,

 Telford, & Vitt, 2012). Many lizards in the northern hemisphere, including Alligator lizards, are

 part of the Anguidae Family. The scientific name Elgaria coerulea refers to a specific Alligator

 Lizard that is found in the Northern California area. This creature was formerly included in the

 Genus Gerrhonotus, which included creatures that resemble alligators (Sheppard, 2011). It

is now part of the Elgaria Genus, which is characteristic of alligator lizards.

       There are four subspecies of the Northern Alligator Lizard. They are webbi,

multicarnata, scincicauda, and nana (Wiens and Slingluff, 2001). These subspecies

are all very closely related to the Elgaria coerulea, commonly known as the Northern

Alligator Lizard. The Southern Alligator Lizard, Elgaria multicarnata, is the closest

resembling animal (Wiens and Slingluff, 2001). The two species differ by habitat

location and tail length. There are many species of lizards that are closely related to

the Northern Alligator Lizard. You can always go online to find more details on

classifying lizards.