Northern blue-tongued skink in exhibit

Northern Blue-tongued Skink

Scientific Name

Tiliqua scincoides intermedia

Class

Reptilia

Order

Squamata

Range

Australia

Habitat

Grasslands, shrublands, savannas, and forests

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
Northern blue-tongued skink in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

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.

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