Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium shows us blue tongue skink

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living Live

     There are about 1200 different recognized species of skinks found around the world, making them the second most populous family of lizards behind the geckos. The blue tongued skinks of Australia are the largest of the skinks, ranging upwards of two feet in length. The blue tongued skinks as aptly named because of their bright, blue tongue which is useful for defense. When threatened, the blue tongued skink will snap open their mouth, which is a bright pink color, and wave their tongue around in the air. The contrast in color can startle many predators, giving the skink the opportunity to escape. Also, many predators may see the bright blue color as a warning of the skink being potentially poisonous.
    With short, stubby legs, and shiny, smooth skin the blue tongued skink can resemble a snake. Its skin is smooth, almost wet looking, but tough, allowing the skink to run quickly over hot sand and jagged rocks. Its tongue also plays another important role: similar to snakes, the skinks use their tongue to "smell" the air, picking up scent molecules to track down prey items. Their diet consists of leaves, grasses, flowers, insects, eggs, and small mammals.
    In the wild, blue tongued skinks have become helpful in urban areas. Blue tongued skinks can become territorial and will establish themselves in people's front or back yards where green grass and flowers and water sources are abundant. The skink will then keep out many unwanted species of snakes and lizards and will control the insect population in these yards, leading many people to go so far as putting out food or water dishes to encourage them to hang around. In these cases, the skinks become akin to household cats and dogs and adapt easily to a more domesticated lifestyle.
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Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living Live

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