The cryptile is a frilled lizard-like agamid from the Mediterranean Basin, 5 million AD, in The Future is Wild.
When the lizard is hunting, it scampers along and raises itself onto its hind legs. Then it opens up the frill around its neck. Superficially, it resembles the frilled lizard, an agamid that lived mainly in northern Australia and southern New Guinea during the Quaternary period. But unlike the frilled lizard, which had an unbroken large ruff of skin, the cryptile's frill forms a net which is covered in a film of sticky mucus secreted by pores on the individual strands.
When a cryptile runs across the salt, the open weave of its frill causes little air resistance. They often career headlong into a thick cloud of brine flies, running straight through it. The cloud swirls and parts if the lizard settles, exhausted after its brief hour of activity. The frill that was pale-colored before the cryptile's run will now be black and laden. The brine flies have adhered to it as if to flypaper. Settling in the salt, the lizard folds its frill, gathering the trapped insects into bunches. In rapid jerks it extends its long tongue and picks off the flies. It will do this even while running through a swarm, licking the caught flies off of its frill.
There are times when a cryptile abandons its camouflage and changes its color to deliberately draw attention to itself. When an enemy approaches, the lizard quickly adopts a threatening pose. It pugs itself up and spreads its frill, turning black in color. Against the white background, the cryptile now stands out, appearing to be a bigger and much more threatening creature. This is usually enough to frighten off an attacker, and allows the cryptile to make its escape.