We’ve just welcomed two Solomon Island skinks to our Tropical House here in Newquay. Known as the giant skink, the zebra skink and the monkey-tailed skink, these scaly creatures are well worth a visit!
Check out these top 5 facts that will make you look differently at these brilliant reptiles!
1. Talented tails
Skinks have prehensile tails, which they use to grasp hold of branches and move easily through tree canopies. They are arboreal, which means that they live solely in trees and usually establish a territory in the top of just one tree.
2. Amazing mothers
Unlike the majority of reptiles that lay eggs, skinks give birth to live young. They even have a placenta, which helps provide nutrients to the young. This is incredibly rare for reptiles. Pregnancy lasts for between six and eight months, and females give birth to babies that are almost half the size of an adult! Mothers are also incredibly protective of their offspring, which is also rare in the reptile world.
3. Close communities
Solomon Island skinks are one of the few reptile species to live in a communal group, known as a circulus. When babies are born, they are protected by all the adults in the group, not just their own parents.
4. Dynamic digestion
Skinks have evolved the ability to eat a variety of toxic plant species that would poison most other animals! This means that they have a lot less competition for tasty (toxic!) food sources.
Solomon Island skinks are the biggest of all the skink species. The smallest skinks are less than 10cm long, including their tail, while Solomon Island skinks can measure up to 80cm!
Are you ready to come and meet our super skinks? Book your visit now, and find them in our Tropical House.