Some lay eggs, others give birth 🦎
Three-toed Skinks (Saiphos equalis) are an amazing and unusual species that will either lay eggs OR give birth to live young, depending on their geographic location. They are one of only three reptile species in the world to do this! These almost snake-like lizards have tiny limbs and no ear openings - adaptations which are probably well suited to their habit of digging through soil and sliding beneath leaf litter.
Amazingly, researchers have found three geographically seperate populations that each have their own distinct reproductive modes; some lay eggs which incubate for 15 days before hatching, others lay eggs which incubate for only 5 days before hatching, and some simply give birth to live young. Scientists have studied these lizards in an effort to understand how viviparous (live-bearing) and oviparous (egg-laying) modes of reproduction evolved. The relationships between the different modes are still unclear, but the results indicated that evolutionarily the egg-layers gave rise to the live-bearing lineage. It was also found that the live-bearing lineage also gave rise to short incubating egg-layers. This essentially suggests that from an evolutionary point of view, shifts from oviparity to viviparity have the potential for reversal, and are not necesssarily permanent.
This cute individual was found warming itself up beside a road the other night.
I tend to neglect our more common species on here so to fix that here's a Ground Skink I found at work this morning enjoying some Fall color down on the forest floor!
Follow @officialalexrobertson for more!
I just about had a HEART ATTACK in the shower just now!
A reptile head poked out of the shower trim and looked at me while I was putting shampoo in my hair.
I don't care for snakes....they seem to like me though. I was worried this was one so I quickly used the sprayer to rinse off while still keeping an eye on this fellow.
Now that I'm not IN the shower with him...I can see it's a lizard.
Why he's not in hybernation, I don't know...but I'll let him get warm for now...but we will have to have a talk about scaring me in the shower.