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6 Fascinating Facts about Blue Tongued Skinks

January 2023 - Michael Treeves

Blue Tongued Skinks are super-cool animals. Here are some facts to help you understand you why!

A squirrel on a patch littered with autumn leaves

1. Where do Blue Tongued Skinks live?

Blue tongued skinks are native to Australia, New Guinea, and some nearby islands. They are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts. Within these habitats, they can be found in a variety of microclimates, including under logs, in burrows, and in other hiding places.

2. What do Blue Tongued Skinks eat?

Blue tongued skinks are omnivorous, which means they eat both plants and animals. They are known to consume a variety of prey, including snails, slugs, and insects, as well as flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

3. How do Blue Tongued Skinks deal with threats?

Blue tongued skinks have blue tongues as a way of communicating and deterring predators. The bright blue colour is thought to be an aposematic (warning) signal, similar to the bright colours found in many venomous animals. When threatened, a blue-tongued skink will puff up its body, hiss, and stick out its bright blue tongue in an attempt to scare off the attacker.

The blue colour of the tongue is produced by pigments called guanine crystals, which are found in the cells of the tongue and other mucous membranes. These crystals reflect light in a way that gives the tongue a bright blue appearance.

4. Are there any subspecies of Blue Tongued Skinks?

There are several different subspecies of blue tongued skinks, including the eastern blue-tongued skink, the northern blue-tongued skink, and the shingleback skink. Each subspecies has its own distinct physical characteristics and habitat preferences.

5. Are Blue Tongued Skinks at risk of extinction?

Blue tongued skinks are not currently considered to be at risk of extinction. While some subspecies, such as the eastern blue-tongued skink, are listed as "near threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), overall, the species is considered to be of "least concern."

Blue tongued skinks are popular pets, and the trade in wild-caught individuals can have an impact on their populations in the wild. It is important to ensure that any blue-tongued skinks kept as pets are obtained from reputable breeders or adopters, rather than being taken from the wild.

6. Are Blue Tongued Skinks good pets?

Blue tongued skinks can make good pets for the right owner. They are generally docile, easy to care for, and can be handled gently by their owners. They are also relatively low maintenance compared to some other reptile species, as they can be fed a diet of leafy greens, fruits, and insects and do not require a complex habitat.

Before getting a blue tongued skink as a pet, it is important to do thorough research and ensure that you are prepared to meet the animal's care needs. As with any pet, it is also important to consider whether you have the time and resources to commit to the animal for the duration of its lifespan, which can be up to 20 years in some cases.

We hope you've learned something new today. We have a Blue Tongued Skink named Kaida at Exotic Explorers. If you are interested to meet her in person and learn more facts, just send us a message using the contact form below!

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Pilgrim's Hatch
CM15 9LG

Telephone: 07877 701461
Email: info@exoticexplorers.co.uk

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