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Crocodile Skink

TRIBOLONOTUS GRACILIS

Quick Facts

Scientific name: Tribolonotus gracilis
Class: Reptiles
Length: 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters)
Weight: 1.3 to 1.6 ounces (36 to 45 grams)
Life span: 5 to 12 years
Incubation: 60 days
Number of eggs: 1 egg
Size at birth: 2.5 inches (6.3 centimeters)
Age of maturity: 3 to 4 years
Conservation status: Not endangered

About

Suit of armor

Just like crocodiles, crocodile skinks have four lines of plated spines on their backs. Their heads also have bony plates, like a helmet. All of these plates act as a suit of armor to protect the lizard from predators.


Talking lizard

Crocodile skinks are one of the only lizards, other than geckos, that can use their vocal cords. When they are threatened, they make a sound similar to a bark or a squawk.


Her one and only

Mother crocodile skinks only lay one egg at a time. As soon as they lay their egg, mothers will spend days wrapped around it. Female crocodile skinks are fiercely protective of their young until they hatch because male skinks are not around.


Lose the tail and freeze!

This scaredy-lizard doesn’t like to fight. If a predator threatens this lizard, the crocodile skink barks first. If the predator doesn’t flee or attempts to grab the skink, it will vomit and lose its tail before falling over and freezing. Most predators think their prey is dead and will give up. After the skink is done “playing dead,” it will eventually grow its tail back completely.


Recent discovery

Crocodile skinks were only discovered recently (early 1990s) on the island of Papa New Guinea. Scientists still don’t know much information about this skink species. Maybe one day you could help discover more about crocodile skinks!

 

Conservation

Learn more about our efforts, our conservation partners around the world, and the simple steps you can take to contribute.

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