L is For Lizard

A skink, in particular. Don’t you just love the name? The skink is the second largest of the lizard family. Only geckos are larger. With more than 1,200 skink species in the world, they’re found mainly in desert and tropical environments. The reason I chose to write about the skink is because I saw one for the first time the other day on a hike up the “other” hill. You know, the shorter one where the rangers aren’t hunting down people with leash-less dogs.

Actually, it was Fergie who discovered the little guy sunning itself in that grassy area next to the house with the “Dog Crossing” sign. Ahead of me, she suddenly stopped, peered down then jumped back. I charged over. Snake season is upon us, you can’t be too careful. The picture above is of a juvenile skink; it still has its blue tail and stubby little legs. The one Ferg and I saw didn’t have any legs, which is common. It looked like a top-heavy lizard, only it had a shiny coat of minute scales that shimmered greeny gold in the late afternoon sunlight. It didn’t move as we peered down at it. I later learned that that tiny slash of a mouth could’ve contained a colored tongue, like the one pictured below.

As you can see this skink’s tongue is blue. And get this, the website where I got this picture, sells them as pets, that the “Blue tongues” have a sort of secret esoteric following of people who have loved and kept these animals for years.