55. Ocellated Skink

Skinks are stocky, short-limbed lizards, and there are over a thousand kinds of them in the reptile world. Here in Malta we only have one species: the Ocellated Skink (M: Xahmet L-Art). Most people know of its existence, though unfortunately the knowledge often comes with a prejudice against it. For some reason people consider the skink slimy and disgusting, maybe because of its shiny skin which, incidentally, shines because it's clean! The skink's tiny legs aren't much use for walking, so the animal often moves in winding, almost snake-like fashion. This further seals its fate with some, who conclude that the animal must therefore be dangerous. But of course there's nothing to fear from the skink, unless we happen to be ants, snails, beetles, spiders...

Text and photo by Victor Falzon.

Copyright to Birdlife Malta.

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