Crested Geckos, Geckos, Habitat and Enclosures

Can Crested Geckos Survive Falls?

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by The Pet Engineers

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Crested geckos are naturally amazing climbers with one of the strongest adhesion in the entire animal kingdom.

Moreover, being arboreal, they have evolved to be able to jump from one tree to another and travel only by hopping branches and climbing trees.

In fact, in the wild, crested geckos rarely ever come down on the ground.

Being arboreal, crested geckos have evolved to be jumpers and climbers, and consequently, have also evolved to survive falls from tree barks and branches.

So, yes, your pet crested gecko can survive falls from great heights. However, what is of importance here is your definition of a great height.

For a crested gecko, a height of 3 meters is considered a great height. It can survive falls of 3 meters with relative safety.

Heights beyond this threshold can lead to fractures, broken bones, and in the worst case, even death of the crested gecko.

Factors That Determine How Your Crested Gecko Survives A Fall

1 – Use of its tail

If your crested gecko is able to correctly use its tail to navigate a fall, it will most likely safeguard itself from any major injuries.

When your crested gecko is climbing a flat surface, if it slips and starts to fall, it will usually press its tail to the surface very hard, thereby ensuring that it lands on its feet.

If your crested gecko has already inclined towards the ground head-first while falling, it will swiftly move its tail in the opposite direction to do a half spin and again land on its feet.

crested gecko balancing off leaf
Crested geckos use their tails to keep balance

2 – Landing on feet

As aforementioned, the use of the tail is primarily to ensure that your crested gecko lands on its feet.

This is very important considering how your crested gecko can suffer fatal consequences if it falls and injures its head or spine.

So, as long as your crested gecko manages to land on its feet, it will have a greater chance of surviving the fall.

Factors That Help A Crested Gecko Survive A Fall

1 – The Tail As A Fifth Limb

As aforementioned, the correct and timely use of its tail helps a crested gecko land on its feet and thereby gives it a greater chance of surviving the fall.

The tail can either be pressed on the flat surface very hard, or it can be moved swiftly in the opposite direction to perform a half spin in the air.

How a crested gecko uses its tail will depend on the situation, but the tail surely plays an important role in ensuring that your crested gecko survives a fall from a height.

2 – Low Weight to Surface Area Ratio

A crested gecko has a very low weight per unit surface area ratio. This means that it is lightweight enough for air resistance to actually soften the blows of its fall.

When a crested gecko falls, it is accelerating downwards and the air that hits its body exerts a force in an upward direction.

lavender-crested-gecko
Crested geckos with small bodies can survive falls

Since the crested gecko is very lightweight, the air resistance manages to counter a substantial amount of the downward acceleration, and thus the fall of the crested gecko is more or less cushioned.

Do They Get Injured When They Fall or Not?

Some crested geckos get mild injuries when they fall, some others walk away without as much as a scratch or a bruise, and some others may actually end up gravely injured even after falling from a relatively shorter height.

Whether a crested gecko gets injured, and how badly a crested gecko gets injured, when it falls from a height depends from situation to situation and from one crested gecko to another.

Some of the aspects that impact the intensity of injuries from falling in crested geckos are listed below:

1 – Whether the crested gecko has a tail

If the falling crested gecko has a tail, more often than not, it will use its tail to navigate the fall and ensure that it lands on its feet.

If your crested gecko is tailless, it will not only be more likely to not land on its feet, but it will also be more likely to be imbalanced and fall in the first place!

A tailless crested gecko, especially one who has only recently dropped its tail, will find it difficult to navigate and balance for the first couple of days.

In that duration, your crested gecko may be more prone to falling accidents and grave injuries.

If your tailless crested gecko is not able to land on its feet, it will most likely land either on its head or on its spine – both of which can lead to serious injuries and sometimes, even death of the crested gecko.

2 – Whether the overall health of the crested gecko is maintained

If your pet crested gecko has a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D3, its bones will be weak. Thus, even if it falls from a smaller height, it may experience injuries such as cracks, fractures, and broken bones.

If this deficiency of calcium and vitamin D3 has already transformed into a metabolic bone disease, your crested gecko will be at much more risk of gravely injuring itself.

Your crested gecko may then experience cracks in the bone from falls of heights as small as the height of the lowest branch of its enclosure.

3 – Whether the crested gecko lands on a soft surface or not

If your crested gecko manages to land on a relatively soft material such as your bedspread or a thick carpet, your pet will be able to cushion a lot of the blows that arise from falling from a height.

The harder the surface your crested gecko lands on, the greater the risk of injuring the limbs, head, or spine of your crested gecko.

How High Can A Crested Gecko Fall From To Suffer From Injuries

A crested gecko can survive a fall from 3 meters (or 9 feet) with relative safety. However, this is the maximum threshold.

Even at this height, your crested gecko will suffer from injuries – but if it is otherwise healthy and if it lands on its feet after the fall, it may still be able to survive the fall with only minor injuries and sprains.

height
Crested geckos can survive a fall of up to 3 metres

The safest height from which a crested gecko can fall and still be unharmed is close to 4 feet (or 1.29 meters).

This is the height from which a crested gecko can fall and still walk away as if nothing much happened.

What To Do After Your Crestie Fall?

As a responsible pet owner of a crested gecko, you should be prepared for the skittish behavior of your pet and prevent any incident where your crested gecko falls or hastily jumps from a height.

However, if that does happen, then you should immediately give first-aid to your pet crested gecko.

The following is a standard procedure that you can operate with when your crested gecko falls from a height:

1 – Monitor from a little distance

Do not immediately go to pick up your crested gecko – that may startle it more and it may jump from your palm, possibly injuring itself again.

So, instead, for the first one or two minutes, observe from afar. If your crested gecko has managed to get up and walk into its enclosure, you don’t need to intervene.

If your crested gecko has fallen from a greater height and cannot seem to be able to move, then gently lift your crested gecko.

2 – Inspect your crested gecko for any wounds

Check if your crested gecko has gotten any wounds, bruises, or injuries.

If your crested gecko fell from a shorter height and there are no signs of injuries, and if your crested gecko is not walking in a deformed manner.

Then you simply need to keep it back in its enclosure and shut the lid of the enclosure so that your crested gecko does not leave the tank again.

If your crested gecko has injuries or bruises, or if it is squeaking in visible pain, immediately give first aid and take your pet crested gecko to the vet.

crested gecko wound
Inspect your crested gecko for wounds

3 – Offer your crested gecko some treats to help soothe it

Falling from any height will be a scary and stressful situation for your crested gecko. You can try soothing your pet crested gecko by giving it its favorite treats.

Food helps build bonds and relieve tensions faster than anything else, especially with animals.

4 – Give your crested gecko some alone time, but continue to monitor from afar

When your crested gecko gets stressed, it is advisable to let it have some alone time in its hiding place.

The same holds true for the stress that comes with falling from a surface. Give some space to your pet crested gecko, but still, continue to monitor from afar.

If your crested gecko seems to be wobbling while walking, squeaking in discomfort, or showing any other body language of discomfort, consider taking your pet crested gecko to the vet again.

5 – Follow up on the vet checkups and ensure substantial cushioning to prevent any further accidents

If your vet has asked you to carry out some follow-up checkups, do so without fail.

Also, ensure that you provide enough cushioning in and around the enclosure and the room in which the enclosure has been kept.

This will reduce the likelihood of any such accidents happening in the future.

vet
Take your crestie to the vet

Summary

Crested geckos are natural climbers and jumpers. Consequently, they have also evolved to survive falls from certain heights.

However, such heights should not cross the threshold of 3 meters, and your crested gecko needs to have great overall health in order to have a better chance of surviving any accidental falls.

If there are accidents in which a crested gecko falls from a great height, or a crested gecko suffering from metabolic bone disorder falls from a height, then such a crested gecko may experience very grave injuries and may in the worst case even die due to falling.

 

About
The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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