Lizards that look like snakes with legs
Skinks are lizards with elongated bodies, short necks, reduced limbs and strong scales. They are very similar to snakes, but with tiny legs that protrude from their body. Their size varies according to the species and they can measure between 12 and 35 cm in length.
They are also known as skinks, skinks or skinks. They belong to the Scincidae family, which includes around 1,200 species that are distributed throughout the world. They include burrowing (terrestrial), climbing (arboreal), and aquatic species. Some of them are in danger of extinction.
They have the bad reputation of snakes, due to their great resemblance to these animals. But the reality is that they are shy, discreet and completely harmless. Their nature is not aggressive and they always try to go unnoticed.
- Skinks are ectodermal, meaning that they do not have the ability to generate their own heat. For this reason, they like to sunbathe during the day, perching on trees or stones to warm up.
- Although they are carnivorous and consume mainly insects, their diet adapts to almost any animal that is large enough to become easy prey.
- The particular shape of the body of these lizards allows them to dive through the grass and exhaustively explore the environment.
- Some have the ability to “swim” in sand, especially species that live in the desert.
- Almost all of them have diurnal habits, that is, they are active during the day.
- There are species with well-developed legs, others show reduction of these in all degrees. You can even find species that completely lack forelimbs, hindlimbs, or both.
- Just over half of the skink species, about 55%, are oviparous (lay eggs that must be incubated). While the other percentage of species are ovoviviparous (the eggs are incubated inside the body of the reptile).