Photo of the Week – May 25, 2012

This little prairie skink was a little too slow getting under cover as I walked past him in the prairie yesterday.  As a result, he suffered the indignity of being transported back to our field headquarters where he was placed in a cardboard box for a short period while I photographed him.  (I let him go again as soon as I got a couple good shots.) 

From the looks of things, it wasn’t the first time he’d been a little slow.  He was missing his tail – a sign that he’d run into trouble recently.  (Skinks can abandon their tail to avoid predation, and then grow another one.  A nifty little trick!)

A prairie skink. The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies, Nebraska.

.

From this angle you can really see the orange coloring of the jaw. Male skinks get this coloration during the breeding season. You can also see the external ear – one of the characteristics that helps distinguish lizards from snakes (legs, of course, are another pretty good clue, though not all lizards have them.)

About these ads

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is an ecologist and Eastern Nebraska Program Director for The Nature Conservancy. He supervises the management and restoration of approximately 4,000 acres of land in central and eastern Nebraska - primarily along the central Platte River. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press.
This entry was posted in General, Prairie Animals, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Photo of the Week – May 25, 2012

  1. Ernest Ochsner says:

    So you’re telling us the guys wear the lipstick in the skink world. Cute little fella isn’t he.

  2. Martha says:

    I never want to be a snake handler, but I’m fascinated by them. Thanks for the up close introduction to your skink friend.

PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS POST!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s