Northern Blue-tongued Skink
Scincidae, the skink family.
Northern Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea.
Woodlands, forests, and arid regions of the Australian interior.
Their ribcages are very flexible and they can reduce the thickness of their bodies from 1 inch to 1 cm if they need to hide under rocks and in small crevices.
Considered one of the largest members of the Skink family, which contains over 600 species, their bodies are broad and flat with short limbs and tails, each covered by an armor of smooth overlapping scales that allow for ease in maneuvering through sand and other debris. Coloration is predominantly dark brown over their topside with pale cross band markings.
They are omnivorous and feed on a variety of berries, snails and insects as well as flowers and fruits.
They are preyed on by large predatory birds (Brown Falcons and Laughing Kookaburras) and large snakes, as well as feral dogs and cats.
Normally shy and docile, they will stand their ground when agitated or disturbed. They will present a formidable appearance by puffing up their broad flat bodies while opening their bright pink mouths with their startling blue tongues, at the same time hissing loudly. They are known to inflict a powerful bite, although they are non-venomous.
Females may give birth to 10 very tiny young, but they have been known to have up to 25 in a clutch.