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The Blue-tongued skink (also called the blue tongue lizard) is an Australian lizard. This solitary reptile spends its days eating and sunning itself. At night it rests, sheltering in fallen logs or leaf litter. It is a relatively shy animal, but can put up a bold front when cornered; when it is threatened, it puffs up its body, sticks out its long, blue tongue and hisses. The blue-tongued skink has a life span of up to 20 years.

Anatomy: Blue-tongued skinks have a long, bright blue tongue, tiny legs, smooth overlapping scales, and a short, thick tail that stores fat. The tail can break off when grabbed by a predator; it can partly re-grow. This skink grows up to 23.5 inches (60 cm) long.

Diet: Blue-tongued skinks are omnivores (they eat both meat and plants). They eat small animals (like insects, worms, snails and rotting meat) and plant material including flowers, fruit and berries.

Habitat: Blue-tongued skinks are native to Australia. They live in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, forests, rainforests, and deserts. They are now found all over the world as pets.

Reproduction: Blue-tongued skink give birth to 6 to 12 live young. Newborns are about 4 inches (10 cm) long and weigh about 0.5 ounce (14 grams). They are mature at about 2 years old.

Classification: Class Reptilia (reptiles), Order Squamata (lizards and snakes), Family Scincidae (skinks), Genus Tiliqua , Species scincoides.

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