5 Interesting Facts About Shinglebacks

This is me holding a shingleback

This is me holding a shingleback

Today, I want to write about one of my favourite lizards, the shingleback.

Here are five interesting facts about them:

  1. These large skinks are a member of the blue-tongue lizard family and can measure up to 41 cm long.  They probably have more common names than any other lizard, and are known as pinecone lizards, bobtails, stumpy-tailed lizards, two-headed skinks and sleepy lizards.
  2. Unlike most lizards, shinglebacks are omnivores.  They eat many plants, including flowers, leaves and berries.  They also use their powerful jaws to catch and crush slow moving insects and invertebrates, including snails, spiders and scorpions.  They can store fat in their tails for winter, when they often go without eating for months.
  3. They are very unusual amongst lizards in that they form lifelong pairs.  The female gives birth to 1-4 live young (normally 2) that can measure up to half the length of the mother.  The babies often hang around with their parents for a few months before moving further away.
  4. Even though they are very slow-moving, shinglebacks have good defenses against predators.  Their tail looks like their head which confuses many predators.  They also have a big mouth that they open wide, showing a bright blue tongue that can also scare away threats.
  5. Shinglebacks are quite common and are found in deserts, scrubland and dry forests throughout southern Australia.

I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.

Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about shinglebacks?

Similar species:

Blotched Blue-Tongue Lizard

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