Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another squamate post - Acontias gracilicauda

Photos by Matt Bonnan

No time for an in depth post today, so I'm keeping the squamate theme going with a picture from my archives. This is a legless skink (Acontias gracilicauda)that happened to have made it home directly above an early Jurassic sauropod bone bed. So it had to be relocated. There is a moderate diversity of acontine skinks in southern Africa: they are just one of many lizard lineages, apart from snakes, that have beome completely limbless.


Darren Naish said...

Was going to ask how you knew it was A. gracilicauda and not Percival's legless skink A. percivali, but then I can't see the animal's tail (A. percivali has a less tapering tail). I suppose range might also helped. Great photos.

Adam Yates said...

It was ID'ed mostly on range. A. percivalli doesn't get anywhere near the Free State according to the rather old field guide I was using. Plus the photos of A. gracilicauda were spot on for our lizard whereas the other Acontias species just looked ever so slightly different (not a very good ID method - I know)