Mark O'Shea's new softback edition
Venomous Snakes of the World. Also his Dangerous Snakes of Papua New Guinea stamp issue
and all his other books on the new 'O'Shea's Herp Shop'
DK Handbook to Reptiles and Amphibians. Visit the
'O'Shea's Herp Shop'
CROCODILE SKINK Tribolonotus gracilis
Crocodile skinks are not like other skinks (there are 1300 species of skinks). They have rough skin, four rows of raised spines down the back, a head like a baby dinosaur, orange markings around the eye, and they shriek loudly when startled, the only skinks known to have a voice.
They also have unusual glands of unknown purpose on the abdomen and smaller glands on the palms and soles of the feet. Females have two ovaries but one oviduct and lay a single egg (10% of her body weight) a at a time. The egg on the oviduct-les side must migrate across the body cavity to the oviduct on the other side.
These are strange skinks that often live in discarded coconut husk piles, especially on one of Mark O'Shea's favourite islands - Karkar Island off northwest PNG.
Crocodile skinks are found in New Guinea (northcoast and southwest coast including Karkar Island)
click on the images to enlarge them
Habitat: Rainforest & coconut plantation,
image shows inside of coconut husk
where the skinks are found
The head crest, dorsal spines, orange facial patterning
and ability to vocalise make this a very strange skink indeed
Strange abdominal glands of unknown purpose are present in the underside of croc skinks, especially males
Female crocodile skinks lay a single egg which accounts for 10% of their body weight