5 Cool Facts on the Blue Tongued Skink ...


5 Cool Facts on the Blue Tongued Skink ...
5 Cool Facts on the Blue Tongued Skink ...

These slow-moving giant reptiles are native to Australia. They can be found in most gardens in their native country, but are sold as pets in many other countries. Here are 5 cool facts on the Blue Tongued Skink that I hope you’ll find interesting!

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It is Great for Pest Control

These skinks eat lots of snails, crickets, slugs, beetles, caterpillars, and even small lizards, which are common pests on most gardens. They have also been known to steal dog food right out of the bowl. As long as they can catch it, these skinks will usually eat it.


Their voracious appetite extends to days when prey might be scarce; they'll happily dine on fruits and veggies, too. This versatility in their diet means they're helpful in keeping a balance in your backyard ecosystem. Just imagine, a pest-free garden without the use of harsh chemicals! These gorgeous reptiles can help maintain your plants in top shape naturally. It's a win-win for garden lovers — you provide a safe haven for these skinks, and in return, they work as your very own pest management crew. Just remember to keep an eye on outdoor pet food!


It is a Great Bluffer

This skink is by no means an aggressive or ferocious killer. It has to bluff its way out of situations and does so by flattening itself out, hissing loudly, and showing its big blue tongue. These lizards can and will bite when threatened, especially if he has just put on the show described above. However, their bite will most likely leave a large bruise and that’s it.


The dramatic display of the blue-tongued skink is not just a superficial act; it's a survival strategy honed by evolution. When its attempts to scare an opponent with its size and sound effects fall short, the vibrant blue tongue comes into play, acting as a startle coloration. This shocking hue is semblant of toxicity or foul taste, discouraging predators from considering the skink as a meal. Nature has certainly equipped this creature with an array of passive defenses, enough to make any potential threat think twice before tangling with this clever reptile.


This Skink is Born Alive, Not from an Egg

It takes between 3 to 5 months after mating for skinks to give birth. As soon as the little blue tongued skink is born, it must start searching for food. There can be up to 25 lizards in one litter, each weighing less than an ounce and measuring up to 5 inches long.


Unlike other lizards that lay eggs, the female blue tongued skink carries her young within her until they are ready to emerge fully formed. This live birth, or viviparous reproduction, means the mini skinks are relatively developed and have to fend for themselves from day one. The mother skink does not provide any postnatal care, so these tiny reptiles are quite independent, feeding on a diet of small insects and vegetation. They grow rapidly during their first year, shedding their skin multiple times as they increase in size.


Wild Blue-tongued Skinks Live Longer than Captive Ones

Usually with wildlife, many captive animals live longer because they are protected from the various dangers of living in the wild. However, blue-tongued skinks can live around 30 years in the wild and only 20 in captivity.


This is mostly due to the natural diet and exercise that wild blue-tongued skinks experience, which often contribute to their optimal health and longevity. Captive skinks may sometimes suffer from improper diets, lack of proper UV lighting, and limited space to roam, all of which can impact their health and lifespan. It's also worth noting that captive breeding can lead to genetic bottlenecks, reducing genetic diversity and potentially making skinks more susceptible to disease. For skink lovers, ensuring their creature companions have a varied diet, plenty of space, and proper care is essential for a long and happy life.


Cats Are One of the Top Predators of Blue-tongued Skinks

This slow moving skink is no match for the ambush tactics used by cats. There’s no time for the skink to be able to wag its blue tongue and try its bluff on the cat. Besides cats, blue-tongued skinks lose their lives to dogs, cars, and lawn mowers as well.

Like most lizards, tail dropping is an option for escape that these skinks can use, but it takes them a year to grow the tail back. I hope you’ve found these facts to be ones worth passing on. I had fun gathering them! Have you ever been lucky enough to see a blue-tongued skink in person? What do you think about lizards as pets?

Top Photo Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

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