Scincus scincus

Scincus scincus

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Scincus scincus

Cincus scincus (sandfish) is a species of skink that burrows into the sand and swims through it. It is native to north Africa and southwestern Asia, but is also kept as a pet elsewhere.

The name sandfish originated because of its ability to move through sand as if it were swimming. Adult sandfish usually reach about 8 inches (20 cm) in length, including the short tail.

The sandfish has developed a peculiar way of dealing with the desert heat: it can dive into soft sand. It does this to prevent overheating and whenever it feels threatened.

This scan is a long, wedge-shaped snout, which is in the lower jaw in the counterscope. Its long, cloth body is covered with simple, shiny scales, and its feet are sturdy with short and long, flat and fringed legs. Tails are short, tapering at a fine point. The color of these species is considered attractive, which is yellow-caramel with brown-brown cross-bands. The lizard also has bead-like eyes so that it can close it to keep the sand out of its eyes.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Scincidae
  • Genus: Scincus
  • Species: S. scincus
  • Binomial name: Scincus scincus

Habitat

A species of sandy biotopes, particularly aeolian sands, but can also be found in areas of fairly hard compacted sand, where small patches of soft sand might exist. Usually prefers areas with modest vegetation cover, but is often found in completely barren localities, such as in the Great Sand Sea.

Description

The name sandfish originated because of its ability to move through sand as if it were swimming. Adult sandfish usually reach about 8 inches (20 cm) in length, including the short tail.

The sandfish has developed a peculiar way of dealing with the desert heat: it can dive into soft sand. It does this to prevent overheating (as it is cold-blooded) and whenever it feels threatened.

This skink has a long, wedge-shaped snout with a countersunk lower jaw. Its long, tapered body is covered with smooth, shiny scales, and its legs are short and sturdy with long, flattened and fringed feet. The tail is short, tapering to a fine point. The colouration of this species is considered attractive, being yellow-caramel with brown-black cross bands.

Biology

Contrary to what was previously thought, recent studies have shown that rather than pulling their limbs close to the body, sandfish move through sand by rotating their legs back and forth in a manner much like the crawl stroke in swimming.

However, while they are extremely efficient at moving beneath the sand, in the absence of a perceived threat, sandfish do actually prefer to travel on the surface. Although the ear openings are small, these skinks have excellent hearing, which enables them to detect insect prey moving below the surface.

Facts

A sandfish is a sand-dwelling lizard of the family Scincidae (a skink) found in desert regions of North Africa and southwestern Asia. It receives the name “sandfish” because it literally “swims” through the loose sand of its preferred habitat. Six or seven species of the genus Scincus are called sandfish.

Sandfish for sale

Scincus scincus images

Scincus scincus

Scincus scincus

Scincus scincus

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