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Florida Wormlizard: Rhineuridae

Geographic Range

Once thought to live only in north-central and northeastern Florida, scientists now know that it also exists in southern Georgia.


The only species of the family Rhineuridae makes its home in parts of Florida and in southern Georgia, but this family once lived over a much larger area. Scientists have identified fossils from wormlizards in the central and western United States. These fossils, which date back as much as 60 million years ago, tell scientists that the wormlizards of the past looked quite similar to the Florida wormlizard alive today. They also were a little different. For example, while they had the same flattened and somewhat pointy skull that the current species has, the fossil worm lizards also had at least one bony feature that Florida wormlizards lack. In their skulls, the fossil wormlizards have orbit and jugal (JEW-gul) bones, that form a complete ring around the eye.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesFlorida Wormlizard: Rhineuridae - Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction - FLORIDA WORM LIZARDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS