Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Burton's Legless Lizard

Burton's Legless Lizard
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Squamata
Family : Pygopodidae
Genus : Lialis
Species : L. burtonis

Body Length : 12in (30cm)

IUCN Status : Not Listed

As the name may suggest, Burton's Legless Lizard is a Lizard... without legs. It lives in Australia and New Guinea, and the species is quite common and widespread. They are often a brownish-gray color, though they can come in many other shades as well, giving the species a wide range of color. Overall though, Burton's Legless Lizards can best be identified by their extremely pointy snout.

One interesting tidbit about this species is that, like snakes, they have the ability to unhinge their jaw in order to swallow very large food. Burton's Legless Lizard feed primarily on other reptiles, like small snakes and geckos. They kill prey by grabbing it and holding on tight around the chest, causing suffocation.

Did you know that if you look close enough, you can see two tiny little skin flaps near where the Lizard's leg should be? These are in fact the remains of their hind legs, which have over time shrunk down into tiny, almost unnoticeable nubs.

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