Northern Blue-tongued Skink
Estimated Wild Population
Northern blue-tongued skinks are terrestrial lizards measuring up to 22 inches in length with a stout body, large head, and relatively short legs. These skinks range in color, but they usually have a banded pattern. They are omnivores with a diet primarily consisting of plants, insects, small mammals, reptiles, birds, and carrion. Their larger rear teeth are used to crush hard foods, such as snails, insects, and fruit.
Interesting Fact 1
When threatened, northern blue-tongued skink sticks out their UV-reflective tongue to scare away predators. This behavior is called a deimatic display.
Interesting Fact 2
Only a few days after birth, newborns wander off on their own and begin eating small insects and fruit.
Interesting Fact 3
Northern blue-tongued skinks are ovoviviparous, meaning that females retain fertilized eggs inside their body until they hatch. This allows the female to protect her eggs from extreme weather and predators, ensuring that a greater percentage of developing young survive until birth. Females typically produce 10-15 live young.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
Support Your Zoo
Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.