Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blue Tongue Skink

Tiliqua scincoides consists of three subspecies of reptile native to Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats ranging from rain forests to deserts to grasslands. One of the subspecies, the Northern Blue Tongue Skink,  are the largest members of the skink family, and are capable of reaching lengths of 24 inches.

Image from Animal Pictures & Dictionary
Blue Tongue Skinks are identifiable by their -you guessed it- blue tongue. And when I say blue, I mean really blue. They are omnivores and use their tongue, strong teeth, and extremely powerful jaws to crush insects and snails. They also consume fruits and flowers. They also ingest small stones, which help in their food digestion. Blue Tongue Skinks also have the interesting anatomical feature of a transparent lower eyelid that helps the desert dwelling skinks to keep sand and dust out of their eyes. They are also capable of shedding their tails when threatened. It takes roughly a year for a new tail to grow back in.

Blue Tongue Skinks are diurnal creatures, and are mostly solitary. They live alone until the fall breeding season when the males come together and fight each other over the females. Skink babies are born via live-birth, and they are on their own almost immediately. Blue Tongue Skinks can live up to 20 years. They are also relatively popular reptiles to own as pets. They can be found in captivity worldwide.

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