The shingleback is a very interesting lizard living in the deserts of Southern Australia. It is one of the few reptiles that are monogamous, staying with its mate for life. Shinglebacks are often called by other names including bobtail, pine-cone lizard, sleepy lizard, and stump-tailed lizard. The name pine-cone lizard comes from the hard, protective scales on its back which gives the appearance of a pine-cone. Even if the scales don’t protect it, the shingleback has another trick up its sleeve – its tail! Its tail looks like its head and can be detached if needed, but the shingleback tries to avoid doing this because its tail holds fat which is vital for the winter. Shinglebacks are omnivores, eating plants and insects. I’d rather stick to the plants myself but it’s their choice. Females give birth to one to three live young each year. Shinglebacks can grow up to 14 inches (35.56 cm.) long. Since they are slow, they are often run over when crossing roads. Luckily, they are common where they live.
Here’s the picture of next week’s animal.
- Smithsonian Handbooks Reptiles and Amphibians. Mark O’Shea and Tim Halliday, Smithsonian Institution, ISBN: 978-0-7566-6009-3
- Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide. David Burnie and Don E. WIlson, Smithsonian Institution, ISBN: 978-0-7566-6002-4
- Shingleback – public domain
- Shingleback range – public domain
- Mystery animal – public domain