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Reptile Tiliqua rugosa (Shingleback Lizard)

Blake

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Scientific Name: Tiliqua rugosa

Common Name: Shingleback Lizard

Order: Squamata

Sub-order: Lacertilia

Family: Scincidae

Other Names: Bobtail Lizard, Stump-tailed Skink, Bogeye, Pinecone Lizard, Sleepy Lizard

Distribution: Arid to semi-arid areas of southern and Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

Habitat: Open bushland, sand dunes and grassland. Often found in open areas such as on roadways basking in the sun.

Field Notes: A prehistoric, rugged and heavily armoured body which can grow up to 25 inches, rarley more. The colours of the body can vairy from very dark brown or almost black, to light tan. Some may display various patterning and gradients of these colours or be simply one colour.

A characteristic of the shingleback lizard is the tail which is a similar in appearance to its triangular head. This is belived to be a defencive mechinisim, encouraging prey to target the tail of the lizard, although the shingleback cannot shed its tail. The tail is also used to store fat, which the shingleback relies on during hibernation.

Image By Blake - July 2011 - Location: Australia Zoo

IMGP9143.jpg
 

Aussie123

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P1280291 (Small).jpg

The fresh scat. As with many animals, they (may) poo as a defensive mechanism if you pick one up; the other end will bite given half a chance !P1280292 (Small).jpg

Some very distinctive tracks. The tail drag marks gently weave from side to side and is flanked on each side by a row of foot marks:
P1280346 (Small).jpg
 
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Aussie123

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Here's a skeleton which I found. It looks like the creature expired on site, rather than being predated on, because it appears to be a (more or less) complete skeleton which is not scattered.
(It was well off any road way, so he wasn't a road kill)

Over view of the remains:
P1280158 (Small).jpg

Jaws:
P1280159 (Small).jpg
 

Aussie123

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A quick thought : Often you will spot them in pairs, (presumably) a male and female, so if you see one, look for the second one nearby.

This makes it very sad when you see one squashed on the road. When you're driving in shingleback areas, watch out for what looks like a short stick lying on the road.
 
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