I was playing air drums next to my 2-year old Uromastyx's tank, and I noticed out of the corner of my eye that she kept glancing up and my face, despite my hands going crazy 2 feet down (almost giving me a "what are you doing?" look, but that might be giving her too much credit).

I thought that was interesting, so I stood up, but extended my arms to keep my hands at the same place (increasing the distance between my hands and face), and she actually readjusted, and kept looking at my head.

This struck me as odd because she's very skidish, and tends to run from anything moving. This would seem to suggest that she's giving special attention to the face, but as far as I know, they don't have the mental machinery to make such a recognition (Fusiform Face Area?)

Does anyone know anything on this topic, or has anyone noticed that their reptiles seem to be able to recognize faces (not distinguish between people, because that could involve a ton of different things, and I'm almost certain that they are capable of that already).

  • I recently stopped at a local pet store to pick up Cockatiel food and engaged in a conversation with the store owner. He had a Masters of Science in Animal Behavior and Mentioned that Bearded Dragons are the only reptile who can use facial recognition and that they do remember who you are. I found this extremely interesting. Jul 14 '17 at 0:20

I can't say I'm any expert on the subject, but I did own a bearded dragon for several years. He too would occasionally glance up and look at my face. It is entirely possible that your lizard does recognize your face as there is some evidence to suggest that reptiles can recognize and form bonds with their owners. https://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/reptile-emotions

However, it is just as likely that your lizard is simply looking at the highest point. Or if she is skittish she could be watching you as if she might watch a predator and trying to keep track of your movements. As I said before, I'm no expert on this matter so you may take what I have said with a grain of salt.


Lizards defently know. My Uromastyx loves to walk around the house and im the only one who takes him out. whenever he sees me he comes out of his rock and in the open and scratches at the tank so I just let him run around till he gets tired. Same goes for my mom but with his food and he only eats his food if my mom gives it to him he wont take it from anyone else. He either knows who he deals with day in and day out or hes got one hell of a personality

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