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More About Lizards
Slow Worm
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The Slow Worm (also spelled slowworm) is a legless lizard that looks like a snake. This lizard is nocturnal (most active at night); during the day it rests under rocks, logs, or soil. The Slow Worm hibernates during cold months, burrowing under soft soil, leaves or tree roots.

The Slow Worm's scientific name is Anguis fragilis (genus and species). Like other lizards, it can shed its tail to escape predators - the tail is eventually regrown (but is not as long as the original).

Habitat: Slow Worms live in moist, warm, shaded areas with loose or sandy soil (where they can hide). They are relatively common in meadows and farmland in Europe (except Ireland) and northwestern Asia. They sometimes sun themselves to increase their body temperature (but usually rest during the day).

Anatomy: The Slow Worm is up from about 12 to 20 inches (30-50 cm) long. It has smooth, shiny green-brown to gray skin, no legs, a small head, and eyelids (snakes do NOT have eyelids, so this is a way to tell a Slow Worm from a snake). Females have darker skin and have a dark stripe running along the sides. The Slow Worm uses its forked tongue to sense smells.

Diet: The Slow Worm is a carnivore (meat-eater). It eats small, slow-moving animals like earthworms, slugs, and many insects and arachnids.

Reproduction: Slow Worms reproduce from eggs which the female incubates within her body. The incubation period is about 90 to 100 days.

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