Prehensile-tailed Skink


Prehensile-tailed skink
Corucia zebrata


Quick Facts

Prehensile-tailed skink

Found:  Solomon Island
Size:  32 inches long
Weight:  25 ounces
Diet:  plants, leaves, flowers, fruit
Life Span:  approximately 15 years
Status:  Unknown

The prehensile-tailed skink is the largest of the known skinks.  Unlike some lizards, it does not have the ability to regenerate if its tail should it break off when caught by predators.  However, their tails are prehensile, meaning that they can curl them around objects such as branches and hold onto them for balance. Although they are normally docile, if bothered persistently they will rise up on their front legs, emit loud hissing noises and can deliver a nasty bite.  The young develop within an egg inside the female until ready to hatch, then a single (rarely 2) baby is born live.  The babies are huge in comparison to the adult.  When born, a prehensile-tailed skink is about 1/2 the size of the adult (approx. 24 inches). The baby will stay close to the parents for about six months after birth.  Females and males have both been observed defending their young against predators, which is highly unusual for reptiles. 

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