Skink

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Skinks
Image:Coal_Skink.jpg
Coal Skink
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Suborder:Sauria
Family:Scincidae
Genera

many—see text

Skinks are reptilians belonging to suborder Sauria, and there to the superfamily Scincomorpha, the same as the true lizards. The family Scincidae is the largest of the lizard families with about 1200 species.


Skinks look roughly like true lizards, but most species have no pronounced neck and relatively small legs. Several genera (e.g., Typhlosaurus) have no limbs at all, others, such as Neoseps, have only reduced limbs. Often, their way of moving resembles that of snakes more than that of other lizards. Skinks usually have long, tapering tails that can be shed and regenerated.

Many species are good burrowers. There are more terrestrial or fossorial (burying) species than arboreal (tree-climbing) or aquatic species. Some are "sand swimmers", especially the desert species, but for instance also the Mole skink in Florida.

Most skinks are medium sized with a maximum length from the snout to the vent of some 12 cm, although there are a few that grow to larger sizes, such as the Corucia, which can reach 35 cm from snout to vent.

Skinks are generally carnivorous; many feed on smaller invertebrates.

About 55% of the skinks are oviparous, that is, they lay eggs in small clutches. The other 45% give birth to living offspring: they are viviparous.

Skinks occur worldwide. Some species are endangered.

Classification

Many large genera, Mabuya for example, are still insufficiently studied, and systematics is at times controversial, see e.g. the taxonomy of the Western Skink (Eumeces skiltonianus).

Family Scincidae

External link

es:Scincidae nl:Skinken he:חומט

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