Chapter

Skinks

Eric R. Pianka and Laurie J. Vitt

in Lizards

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780520234017
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939912 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520234017.003.0011
Skinks

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This chapter discusses skinks, the largest lizard family. Skinks comprise some 120 genera and about 1,400 species. They are characterized by large, symmetric, shield-like scales on their heads, and bony secondary palate in the roof of the mouth. They are found in Australian and African deserts, and also the Amazonian lowlands, from temperate forests and cool montane habitats to African savannas and Brazilian cerrado. Four major evolutionary groups (subfamilies) of skinks are formally recognized: Acontinae, Feylininae, Lygosominae, and Scincinae.

Keywords: skinks; Acontinae; Feylininae; Lygosominae; Scincinae

Chapter.  8362 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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