Aug 31 2016

August 2016’s Animal Of The Month – Blue-tongued Skinks

It’s the last day of August, which means it’s the last day we’ll be spending with the blue-tongued skink as our Animal of the Month. But don’t feel blue! We will introduce a new Animal of the Month for September very soon. But until then, we hope you enjoyed our tweets @ExoticPetVets about the gentle blue-tongued skink. If you missed any, here is a summary of our Animal of the Month feature on Twitter. Did you know?:

  • Blue-tongued skinks are several species and sub-species of lizards under the genus Tiliqua in scientific classification.
  • In the wild, the various blue-tongued skink species are found in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia.
  • In Australia, blue-tongued skinks are commonly called “blue-tongued lizards” or “blue-tongues.”
  • It’s no mystery how they got their names – blue-tongued skinks have large blue tongues.
  • Blue-tongued skinks open their mouths, hiss and show their tongues when threatened by predators.
  • The sight of a blue tongue from the blue-tongued skink’s bright pink mouth may confuse or scare predators away.
  • Blue-tongued skinks also flatten their bodies when threatened to make themselves look wider and bigger to predators.
  • What is one of the most significant predators of the blue-tongued skink in the wild? Cats.
  • Cats are ambush predators and often times blue-tongued skinks don’t get a chance to show their defense display.
  • Depending on the species, blue-tongued skinks have a variety of colours and patterns.
  • The body of the blue-tongued skink is covered with smooth overlapping scales which contain small bone plates.
  • Blue-tongued skinks are diurnal reptiles which means they are awake during the day and sleep at night.
  • In the wild, blue-tongued skinks will spend their days basking in the sun and foraging for food.
  • At night, blue-tongued skinks will seek shelter in burrows or under rocks, logs and vegetation.
  • Ground-dwelling blue-tongued skinks live in various habitats including rainforests, deserts and grasslands in the wild.
  • Unusually-built, blue-tongued skinks have a long body and big head but their legs are very short and they have small feet.
  • While male blue-tongued skinks have bigger heads, their female counterparts are larger overall.
  • Depending on the species, adult blue-tongued skinks are usually between 1 ½ – 2 feet in size head to tail.
  • Blue-tongued skinks are considered to be good pets as they have a gentle temperament.
  • Because of their stout body shape and that they are relatively slow-moving, blue-tongued skinks are easy to handle.
  • Although unlikely, blue-tongued skinks may bite if they’re picked up while frightened.
  • Blue-tongued skinks are omnivorous scavengers, meaning they eat a variety of both plant and animal matter.
  • In the wild, the blue-tongued skink diet includes insects, flowers, fruits and berries.
  • Blue-tongued skinks have strong jaws that can crush shells, so they also eat snails in the wild.
  • In captivity, blue-tongued skinks should be offered a wide variety of protein, veggies and fruit.
  • Blue-tongued skinks are hardy lizards and do well in captivity with proper care.
  • Blue-tongued skinks live an average of 20 years, but there are reports they can live as long as 30 years in captivity.
  • Blue-tongued skinks are viviparous, meaning they don’t lay eggs and give birth to live babies.
  • Female blue-tongued skinks give birth to an average of 10 babies, but litters can be as large as 25.

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