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Geckos are lizards found in all types of climates. Some live in the moist heat of the tropics, others in the arid landscapes of the desert plains. Geckos prey upon small insects that scrounge across the floor of these regions, yet they are also prey to larger animals. Geckos come in a variety of sizes and colors; however, for each species, there is a predator.
The goliath tarantula is a giant form of the common tarantula that primarily lives in tropical climates and rain forests. The goliath is also called the bird-eating tarantula because it preys upon small birds as well as lizards, insects and sometimes mice. The goliath tarantula will muscle down the gecko and introduce a flesh-eating venom with long, needle-like fangs. The venom will paralyze the gecko and cause the tissue within the gecko to liquefy, since the tarantula does not have teeth to chew the prey.
Geckos are preyed upon by snakes in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. One snake that thrives in these conditions, which also eats small lizards, is the Asian red-tailed rat snake. This snake might lie in wait for the gecko to be still, and then pounce quickly and snatch the lizard in its mouth. Other snakes, such as the African tree boa, will capture the gecko inside its tightly wrapped body and squeeze the lizard until it succumbs to suffocation.
Some birds are carnivorous, meaning they eat only meat, and because of this will eat most anything they can catch. Examples of these birds are the great horned owl and the red-tailed hawk. These carnivorous birds will prey upon small mammals and fish, yet will hunt down lizards when given the opportunity. Geckos living in the same region as raptor birds might find the presence of such birds a threat. Many hawks and owls live throughout North America, yet do travel south when the temperatures drop below freezing. In the warmer, tropical climates near South America, these raptors may prey upon lizards that live in the region.
- gecko image by Maria Bell from Fotolia.com