Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. 2A, Amphibia and Reptilia, edited by C. J. Gasby, C. J. Ross, and P. L. Beesly. They live on land almost around the world, except for many islands in the ocean and very cold places, such as Antarctica and high up in mountains. Willows…, Amphibia is one of the five major classes of vertebrates. Gravid females with full-term embryos are found from late October through mid-January (with a peak in December). Some viviparous skinks give birth to a single, extremely large neonate (Corucia zebrata, Tiliqua rugosa, and Typhlosaurus gariepensis). Legless skinks, as well as those with reduced limbs, are typically burrowers and usually have small eyes and consolidated head shields. These skinks inhabit red, sandy deserts with spinifex grasses. After rains that follow a prolonged drought, these skinks emerge at dusk from fig tree hollows to lick up raindrops collected on leaves of their host tree. This large nocturnal skink digs elaborate tunnel systems that are used as retreats by many other species of reptiles, both diurnal and nocturnal. All skinks presumably derived from a single common ancestor (i.e., they are monophyletic). Most skinks have smooth, glossy, circular scales, but a few have sharp or keeled scales. Mabuya striata Peters, 1844, Mozambique. Tail loss thus can be costly. The species has been overcollected in the Solomons by animal dealers, to supply the foreign pet trade. Males have an orange throat and yellow venter during the breeding season. The same is true of many skinks in Southeast Asia (e.g., species of Larutia and Riopa). "Ecological Shifts in Sympatry: Kalahari Fossorial Lizards (Typhlosaurus)." These skinks are very diverse, ranging from small to large, advanced skinks. These skinks shun direct sunlight, and they shelter under rotting logs, stones, and leaf litter deep in rainforest, where damp, shaded conditions prevail. Many species ovulate large eggs containing all the nutrients necessary for development; thus, developing offspring feed on their own yolk (lecithotrophy, ovoviviparity) before being born alive. This skink is completely herbivorous and consumes a variety of plants, but the bulk of its diet is made up of leaves and flowers of the aroid Epipremnum pinnatum. This large lizard is recognized easily by its short, blunt tail and shingle-like scales. ——. Skinks have adopted a wide variety of habits. This skink inhabits semiarid heaths, woodlands, shrublands, coastal dunes, and red, sandy deserts vegetated with spinifex grasses. It maintains a higher body temperature during the summer than in the winter and basks early and late in the day during summer but at midday in winter. Brood sizes vary greatly among skinks, from one to two in some species (such as Lobulia and Prasinohaema, which appear to have a fixed clutch size, as in anoles and geckos) to 53 or even 67 in others (such as the Australian Tiliqua gerrardii). These subterranean fossorial skinks burrow just beneath the surface, often under logs and fallen debris. They move slowly and usually are docile, though when provoked, they will rise up and exhale with a sharp, loud hiss through the open mouth. Females give birth to two to three living young in mid-January through early March. Females give birth to two very large young (rarely, one or three young). Other species of skinks The species is widespread in the southeastern United States, from eastern Texas north through eastern Oklahoma and eastern. Skinks may be terrestrial, fossorial, or arboreal. Chipping Norton, Australia: Surrey Beatty and Sons, 1989. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. The belief in their medicinal effects seems to have been based on the fact that they feed on wormwood, which is known to have medicinal properties. Vol. Central and South American skinks (Mabuya and Sphenomorphus) are active during the day and frequently are observed basking or foraging. Please see our brief essay. McCoy, Mike. Bony plates, known as osteoderms, underlie skink scales. Skinks are important insectivores in many natural habitats. One pygopodid lizard and several species of snakes have evolved hinged teeth to facilitate obtaining a firm grip on their skink prey. Skinks have exceedingly well developed olfactory abilities and can recognize and determine species, sex, and sexual receptivity of other individuals by scent. Some skinks are diminutive, but others are large. They are derived from unknown scincine ancestors. Egernia striata Sternfeld, 1919, Hermannsburg Mission, Upper Finke River, Northern Territory. The striped skink is live bearing, with an average litter size of 5.4. Identifying characteristics: Skin color pales at sexual maturity; males are then almost entirely brown. When threatened, they open their mouths wide and wave their blue tongues. Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other Reptiles, Copyright © 2020 Web Solutions LLC. The color varies from gray to olive brown, sometimes greenish and occasionally dotted with white or cream spots, especially in juveniles. Scales overlap in the fashion of shingles on a roof. Perth: Western Australian Museum, 1999. These lizards vary in morphologic characteristics from short and robust with strong, well-developed limbs to elongated and fragile with tiny or no vestigial limbs. should be placed within Lygosominae remains uncertain. Its preferred habitat is the strangler fig tree (Ficus sp.). This is a moderately sized, elongated, slender, short-limbed skink. They are found worldwide, with more than 82 genera and about 900 species. It occurs in Western and South Australia, the southern portion of the Northern Territory, and western Queensland. Little is known about the diet, but slugs, snails, and worms are probable food items. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES. The Animal Diversity Web team is excited to announce ADW Pocket Guides! Resources In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Four subspecies are recognized. 1, Skinks. (These store valuable energy reserves used in reproduction.) Skinks are smooth, shiny-scaled lizards in the family Scincidae, most of wh…, Willow Family (Salicaceae) Vol. Ecology 58 (1977): 119–128. Some burrowing species, such as Lerista and Typhlosaurus, feed largely on termites. Swims now and then. This small skink is brownish to purple-brown with small keeled scales. It has no supranasals; the prefrontals are narrowly separated or in contact, and the parietals are widely separated.