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PREHENSILE-TAILED SKINK

Scientific Name: Corucia zebrata
Order
Squamata (amphisbaenas, lizards and snakes)

Family
Scincidae

Habitat & Range
Native to the Solomon Islands, the prehensile-tailed skink is strictly arboreal and inhabits the upper canopy of forested areas. It can also be found in trees of semi-cleared areas and cultivated food gardens.

Identification
The head of the prehensile-tailed skink is large and flat with small eyes. These large skinks range in color from dark green to a near black. Black, yellow, and shades of various greens decorate the back, tail, and belly in random spots or stripes. Their scales are smooth and flat. They have a short tongue that is broad, flat and fleshy. These skinks have large powerful claws and a long prehensile tail, which enables them to sustain a rich arboreal life. They can grow to be up to 30 inches long, making them one of the largest of the skinks.

Diet
The prehensile-tailed skink is almost exclusively herbivorous, eating fruits and vegetables, however they will consume the occasionally insect.

Reproduction & Lifespan
The female prehensile-tailed skink gives birth to her young as opposed to laying eggs. Their gestation period is relatively long, averaging 6 to 8 months. Females give birth to only 1 offspring per season.

On average, a prehensile-tailed skink can live for 25 to 30 years.

Fantastic Fact
A Random Act of Kindness
Prehensile-tailed skinks are among a rare group of reptiles that form communal groups (called a circulus). When offspring reach the age of 1, they are expelled from the group and move on to form their own circulus. Occasionally, a family will allow an outsider to join their group by “adopting” an orphaned young skink.

 
 
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