Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Dinosaurs, Snakes, and Other Reptiles » Blindskinks: Dibamidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, BLINDSKINKS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Blindskinks: Dibamidae - Physical Characteristics

limbs lizards openings scales

Blindskinks (also called "blind lizards," "blind skinks," "legless lizards," and "wormlizards") are small to medium-sized lizards with a slim, snakelike form. They are fewer than 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) long. Their body colors range from pale pink to light brown, with the under area, or belly, sometimes a bit paler. Their bodies are covered with shiny, smooth, and squarish overlapping scales. The scales on the head are large and platelike, especially on the snout, or nose area, and lower jaws.

The heads of these reptiles are blunt, not pointed. The bones of the skull are fused, or firmly joined together. This makes the head area very solid, which helps in burrowing, or digging holes. Their tiny eyes look like dark specks and have no lids. The eyes are hidden under a head scale that does not move. The nostrils, or nose openings, are small and placed at the tip of the snout. These lizards have no ear openings that can be seen. Their ears are covered with scales. There are only a few lower teeth, set in sockets, or hollow openings. The teeth are small and pointed, curving backward. The tongue is short and wide and is not divided at the tip. The tip of the tongue does not retract, or pull back, completely.

The tails of blindskinks are very short and blunt. They are able to break off at various places to deter predators (PREH-duh-ters), or animals that hunt the blindskink for food. Blindskinks do not have any working limbs, or legs. Males have small, flaplike hind limbs, or back legs. These limbs may be used in mating. Females have no limbs or flaps. Pectoral (PECK-ter-uhl), or chest, bones are absent. The hip-bone area is very small. These features give the blindskink its slim shape.

Blindskinks: Dibamidae - Habitat [next]

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