; order Squamata, suborder Sauria)
A family of terrestrial and burrowing lizards in which the head is wedge-shaped, the body streamlined and elongate, and the limbs small or absent. The scales are smooth, often overlying small osteoderms. The teeth are pleurodont. The tongue is slightly notched. The diet is mainly insectivorous, but Australian tiliquine skinks (e.g. Tiliqua rugosa, stump-tailed skink) are vegetarian. T. rugosa is large (about 36 cm long), the shape of the tail resembles that of the head, both being short, broad, and rounded at the end, and the cobalt-blue tongue is used in threat display; stump-tailed skinks burrow in sand. There are more than 800 species of skinks, occurring in the subtropics and in desert regions throughout the world.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.