You may wonder why leopard geckos have fat tails when you watch them in their cages. Let us discuss all about Leopard Gecko’s fat tail.
Why do leopard geckos have fat tails?
The simple answer is that they store fat in their tails to use as a backup energy source, especially when it’s cold or sick. If it is healthy, the tail of a leopard gecko should be fat. Geckos are native to dry environments where food is not always readily accessible. In most cases, these animals will store fat in their tails; this fat reserve will assist the animal in surviving times when there is an inadequate supply of food.
Read on to learn how a leopard gecko’s fat tail can save its life.
What Is the Purpose of a Leopard Geckos Tail?
1. Fat Storage
The primary function of this process is to store large amounts of fat reserves. This occurs as a prophylactic mechanism to stop it from starving to death if it goes for extended periods without getting any food.
Leopard geckos may go 70 to 100 days without eating. This is the case, provided that its tail has been adequately packed and stored with sufficient fat reserves before its use.
2. Defense Mechanism
One of the tail functions is to defend the creature from being attacked by a predator, which might result in its death. Therefore, when confronted with such a circumstance, a leopard gecko would lift its tail and wave it toward its prey animals.
The purpose is to prevent the predator from attacking its head, which could kill it. The predator is enticed to attack the tail, allowing the Leopard gecko to drop its tail. This happens continuously, allowing the gecko to escape the situation quickly.
Why Is My Leopard Gecko’s Tail So Fat?
Like many other species native to extreme habitats, Leopard geckos sometimes confront challenging environments with little food available.
Because of this, the animal needs to store as much fat as possible. Leopard geckos store fat under their skin in their tails, called adipose tissues. Triglycerides are made up of adipocytes, which are mostly big fat droplets.
The ability of leopard geckos to store fat serves various vital functions during the animal’s everyday life. These are the following:
· Source of Energy
Leopard geckos can go for a long time without eating, and if you have one as a pet, you will observe that they can go for a few days without food.
And even if you fail to give your pet food for an entire week, they won’t die. This does not mean that you ignore your pet in any way. The animal’s stored fat is used as an energy source during these times, and the fat is broken down and used.
The process of hibernating that leopard geckos go through is called brumation. This natural metabolic slowdown happens during the most remarkable months in leopard geckos older than one year.
According to scientists, time is vital for the health of all geckos, whether they are kept in captivity or live in the wild. In addition, some keepers will wish to use artificial cooling to recreate the same environment for leopard geckos one-year-old or older that they have at home.
The animal will exhibit certain behaviors and symptoms unique to brumation while in this state. The animal starts to slow down and eats less as a result. It is also possible for it to go into hiding for several weeks, at which time it will choose to spend more of its time in the cooler regions of its cage.
You need to exercise caution and closely check your pet to look for any indications that it may be sick.
According to studies, female leopard geckos need a lot of energy during reproduction to produce big, healthy eggs. These eggs have a significant quantity of fat and protein, which are essential for the growth and maintenance of a healthy offspring. A leopard gecko egg has a calorie density of 6 milligrams per milligram on a milligram scale. Also, they use between 13% and 48% of their total energy to make eggs.
Like other types of reptiles, leopard geckos must rely on their local surroundings to properly regulate their body temperature. Because of this, the rates at which they generate their own endogenous heat are also different, particularly when the animal is moving or digesting food. The interaction of these two elements creates complications for the animal’s ability to regulate its temperature.
Reptiles have complicated and high heat flow systems that exchange heat with the environment. As the leopard geckos attempt to maintain a consistent temperature throughout their body, each system consumes a large amount of energy.
In addition, leopard geckos will employ behavioural techniques to regulate their body temperatures, such as approaching or avoiding the sun, depending on the situation.
How Long may a Leo Survive Using its Tail Fat?
Since you are now aware of the function of the leopard gecko’s thick tail, you are probably curious as to how much assistance it provides. How long would a Leo survive off of the tail’s fat if it could not find any food?
Any mature and healthy Leo will be able to survive for one month on its tail fat. They can easily live for 30 days without eating.
It is highly advantageous to live on its stored fat for a long time. The tail of a leopard gecko that has depleted its fat reserves will resemble a typical gecko tail. If the leopard gecko is successful in locating food, it will be able to begin storing fat in its tail once more, allowing the tail to grow fat once again.
Leo Tail Waving
If you have seen that your leopard gecko (Leo), which you keep as a pet, sometimes moves its tail back & forth, then you are not alone. Many Leo owners observe this phenomenon. Several possible explanations exist for why a Leo would wave its tail in different directions.
When actively hunting, Leos occasionally erect their tails in an elevated position. A leopard gecko may softly wave its tail before abruptly shaking it when it attacks.
How Can You Get Your Leopard Gecko Fatten?
Have you noticed that your leopard gecko is getting thinner? If low nutrition is causing your leopard geckos illness, alter its diet, so it gains weight.
You should also consider adding supplements, removing any sources of stress, providing food on a suitable timetable, and maintaining acceptable temperatures in both the cold and warm sections of the enclosure.
Many different things can induce stress in leopard geckos, and the environment in which the animal lives can also be a source of anxiety for the animal.
You need to ensure that the animal has enough area to move around, and if you have more than one animal in your custody, you need to keep an eye on them to ensure that they are not fighting with one another.
The enclosure should provide spaces for hibernating or hiding. Also, keep in mind that the animal must be in an appropriate environment to shed.
You may also include insects that are higher in fat, such as butter worms, super worms, and waxworms; nevertheless, a diet consisting of mealworms, silkworms, hornworms, crickets, and B.dubia roaches is adequate to feed the animal with all of the required nutrients.