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Do tegus climb?

Juvenile tegus love to climb. Adults, not so much.
Juvenile Argentine black and white tegu. Photo courtesy of CHUCAO.

Tegu climbing behavior changes drastically with age. All tegus are generally born arboreal (i.e. they climb and live on trees to escape predators) but move to the ground as they grow larger in size.

Adult tegus are terrestrial, not arboreal, and burrowing animals that prefer to spend time on land and do not generally like climbing. That said, they are able to, if they want.

This is true for the three main species of tegu commonly kept as a pet: salvator merianae, salvator rufescens and tupinambis teguixin. Other less common species such as the dracaena guianensis or Caiman Lizard, which is technically a tegu, are in fact arboreal and do climb extensively even as adults.

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