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The Scheltopusik, also known as the European Glass Lizard, looks like a snake, but is not. Though it has no legs and moves like a snake, its ear openings, eyelids, and ventral scales identify it as a lizard. It is one of many species of legless or reduced-legged lizards that are found all over the world.

(Image Source)
The Scheltopusik (Pseudopus apodus) looks a lot like a large, cream-colored worm (it's common name comes from a Russian word meaning yellow-bellied). It can grow to some pretty big lengths, with specimens measured at 100-130cm. A large portion of their body is made up of a tail, which can detach as a defense mechanism. They sometimes do have their hind legs, but they are very small and are essentially worthless.

They make their home in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, in primarily open, dry areas. There, the Scheltpousik hunts a variety of different animals, including rodents, snails, and insects. Females lay up to a dozen eggs at a time, which she guards until hatching. They can live up to fifty years.


  1. Thanks Lauren, pretty sure this is going to haunt my dreams now.

  2. Do they go off feed in the fall/winter?


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