Blogging about animal behaviour (2010)

LSM1303 Animal Behaviour student posts

The “Hissed Off” Blue-Tongued Skink

Filed under: Uncategorized — u0701671 at 4:04 am on Friday, April 9, 2010  Tagged , , ,
Blue Tongue!

Blue Tongue!

The Blue-Tongued Skink is a fascinating lizard! By virtue of the fact, like its name suggests, the lizard has a blue tongue! These interesting lizards are a member of the Skink (Scincidae) family, and they carry the genus Tiliqua. There is a whole myriad of different blue-tongues and they each carry slightly different characteristics. One thing in common, of course, is their possession of a blue tongue. Most blue tongues also have an orange belly!

Although indigenous to Australia and Indonesia, these lizards have made their way to different parts of the world whereby they are highly prized as pets. Easily tamed and docile by nature, these blue tongues make good pets for the family, and are generally safe even when handled by children. They have quite a long life span, living till 20-25 years in captivity, and growing to about 40-50cm in length (depending on the species). Blue tongues in captivity are usually fed with vegetables, fruits, cat food, eggs, snails, earthworms.

A kid holding a blue-tongued skink

A kid holding a blue-tongued skink

The blue tongue serves a different purpose, and this is well-illustrated when the skink feels threatened. Because it has no proper defense or offense mechanism, the skink resorts to hissing and displaying its blue tongue when threatened. This sudden gesture, coupled with the hissing sound and the color of its tongue, helps to scare off threats. The skink also flattens its body to make it look larger. After these warning signs, the skink will not hesitate to bite (and it does deliver quite a powerful bite), so do not try to pick the skink up when it shows these signs!

Hissed off!

Hissed off!

Here is a video of a Shingleback blue-tongued skink (T. rugosa rugosa • Gray, 1825) putting up a demonstration!

References:

Blue-Tongued Skinks: Welcome to Blue-Tongued Skinks.net!

URL: www.bluetongueskinks.net (accessed 09 April 2010)

The Australia Blue Tongue Lizards

URL: http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/blue-tongue-lizard.html (accessed 09 April 2010)

Blue-Tongue Skinks

URL: http://www.anapsid.org/bluetong.html (accessed 09 April 2010)



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