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Bowie

BOWIE – NORTHERN BLUE-TONGUED SKINK

Hatch Year: 2014
Arrival to WBS: 2016
Sex: Unknown
Reason for Residence: donation

Bowie came to World Bird Sanctuary in 2016 by one of our very own staff members, who had acquired her about 1.5 years before from a previous owner who was not equipped to keep her. Her calm demeanor made her a great candidate for an education animals, and when it became apparent that the Sanctuary was in need of a new lizard ambassador she kindly donated Bowie.

One of her favorite places to nap is tucked under one of her logs with her head resting in the open hole on top. In this position she is often mistaken for a snake, as her small limbs are totally hidden! Bowie spends most of her days basking in her heat lamp, or more frequently, burrowing through all of her bedding. The game of “find Bowie” has become a daily occurrence at the Nature Center as she hides so well!

SPECIES: NORTHERN BLUE-TONGUED SKINK

CONSERVATION STATUS: LEAST CONCERN

Scientific Name: Tiliqua scincoides intermedia
Description: very large; tend to be a bright orange to soft peachy orange or even a yellowish colour with darker stripes along their sides and backs, with a lighter, creamier colour on their bellies. They also have bright blue tongues often used to warn off or startle predators. Their legs are short and small compared to the length and width of their bodies.
Sex: Males are more heavily bodied, especially around the
head and neck, with the skin being more boldly patterned.
Age: up to 20 years in the wild;
Length: grow up to 24″
Weight: 3-5 oz.
Habitat: forests, woodlands, and grasslands
Range: Northern Australia.

Behavior: Blue-tongued skinks are diurnal (active during the day) and live on the ground. They seek shelter at night in hollow logs and under ground debris. They bask in the morning to raise their body temperature. They are shy and secretive and seldom stray far from their shelter. They are not very agile and the animals they eat are mostly slow moving. If frightened, they can and will bite. They can put up a bold front when cornered or threatened. They puff up the body, stick out the long, blue tongue, and hiss. Breeding occurs once yearly. Males seek out females and trail them. The male will aggressively bite and hold the female prior to and during mating.

Diet: insects, snails, fruits, berries, wildflowers, carrion

Fun Facts!
– Northern Blue-tongued Skinks can shed their tail to escape predators and then regrow it.

– Northern Blue-tongued Skinks ingest small stones to help digest their food

– Northern Blue-Tongued Skinks are not poisonous but its blue tongue tricks predators into thinking that it is.

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