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Chinese Crocodile Lizard Bite: How Bad Is It? Does It Hurt?

You might be wondering, can a Chinese crocodile lizard bite? Are they naturally aggressive? If they are, how dangerous for a new keeper or a family with kids?

It might interest you to know that Chinese crocodile lizards are docile animals. They’re not aggressive and their bite isn’t dangerous. Thus, they make great pets for beginners and families with kids.

Nonetheless, there are some cases where the lizards would bite in self-defense if threatened or attacked by predators.

But this will only happen in extreme cases where the lizard had no other option. This is because, in the wild, they would rather escape into the nearby pond or stream than fight.

With this in mind, what makes them bite in captivity? Read on to find out.

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Dilber. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

Do Chinese Crocodile Lizards Bite?

Does a Chinese Crocodile Lizard Bite?
Do Chinese Crocodile Lizards Bite?

As earlier said, Chinese crocodile lizards are docile in nature that would likely choose flight over fight. In the wild, if it is possible to escape, they will jump into the water and with their strong and powerful tail propel themselves away from an attack.

That’s why their habitat is near a pond or stream. One of the purposes of the water area is to serve as a haven for escape each time they’re threatened.

With their ability to regulate their respiratory rate, they can stay submerged underwater for a long time of about 30 minutes. This way, by the time they resurface, the predator might have retreated.

But, if they were unable to escape and were captured by a predator, they’ll go into a fit of violent struggle, hissing, defecating, and biting to free themselves from the predator’s grip.

This is the only time they would resort to biting. In a nutshell, biting for Chinese crocodile lizards is a last resort in self-defense.

When Chinese crocodile lizards feel threatened, they try to escape. If they are in the cage, they will try to keep you away through their aggressive body gestures. When you ignore their this behavior and try to touch them, they will bite you as that is their last option to protect themselves.

Top 3 Reasons That Make Chinese Crocodile Lizards Bite

3 Reasons That Make Chinese Crocodile Lizards Bite
3 Reasons That Make Chinese Crocodile Lizards Bite

Both in the wild and captivity, Chinese crocodile lizards don’t just bite for no reason. Something they perceived as a threat or insecurity will trigger them to bite in defense of themselves.

Thus, it’s important that you understand the reasons behind their bite in captivity so that you can avoid them. Below are 3 reasons that’ll make your pet Chinese crocodile lizards bite.

In Self Defense When Threatened Or Attacked

Chinese crocodile lizards bite when they feel threatened or attacked. Therefore, in captivity, they’re likely to bite if you handle them in an inappropriate way.

By wrong handling, it means handling your lizard by the tail and not providing enough support to its entire body when handling.

If you handle your lizard this way, you’re sure looking for some bites because handling the lizard by the tail makes the lizard uncomfortable and insecure.

Wrong Handling

Also, not providing enough support with your hands to the entire body of the lizard can cause it to feel insecure and will bite you.

To avoid a bite from your lizard, ensure that you handle it properly and provide optimal support to its entire body with your hands. The best way to handle Chinese crocodile lizards is to use your two hands.

However, if you use one hand, ensure that the lizard rests its entire body and tail on your hand comfortably.

Wrong feeding method

Another reason your pet Chinese crocodile lizards will bite you is during feeding. This can only happen if you make the mistake of feeding the lizard with your bare hands.

The ideal way to feed your pet lizard is to suspend the feeder to it using forceps. This way, the lizard wouldn’t have to bite your hand along with the food.

If you get bitten while using the wrong feeding method, it is not that serious because the lizard bites you accidentally while eating food. This is totally different from aggressive bite of the lizard.

Are Chinese Crocodile Lizards Bite Dangerous?

Chinese crocodile lizards do not bite aggressively. Besides, they aren’t poisonous lizards hence, their bite isn’t poisonous or dangerous.

They’re not aggressive, rather they’re docile and calm in nature. Their bite is mostly in self-defense when they feel insecure and this is very rare, but they can bite aggressively if they feel threatened. So, it is necessary to properly train and handle the Chinese crocodile lizard.

Dealing With Aggressive Chinese Crocodile Lizard

How to handle your pet Chinese crocodile lizard when happy and when acting aggressively. [source: Clint’s Reptiles]

Like I said earlier, Chinese crocodile lizards aren’t aggressive in nature. Therefore, you don’t have to bother about taming them.

They’re naturally docile, calm, and get acclimatized to their captive environment easily.

Chinese crocodile lizards are very calm and easy to handle once they recognize and get attached to you. But if you have a new lizard and you are handling it in the wrong way, it will surely get aggressive.

Wrapping Up

The topic of shinisaurus temperament and disposition is a thing of concern for most breeders, especially beginners and families with kids.

When new herpetologists hear of the word “crocodile”, what comes to mind is the giant, aggressive crocodile.

The Chinese crocodile lizards only get the name from the two sets of rigid rows of scales that run from their back down to their tail.

This crocodilian feature makes them appear like crocodiles which is why they’re called crocodile lizards.

This in no way makes them aggressive and untamed. That said, if you avoid handling them inappropriately, you wouldn’t have to deal with bites.

Therefore, if you’re considering getting this docile in nature and adorable looking lizards as a pet, just go ahead.

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