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Natural UAE

Skinks

Adapted like the sand boa to live in the soft sand is the sand skink (Scincus mitranus ) popularly known as the sand fish . In the early morning it can be observed basking on the sunny flank of a sand-dune but will "dive" into the soft sand and glide away under the surface at the slightest disturbance. It has a wedge-like snout and smooth scales enabling it to move rapidly in the soft substrate. Very glossy reddish-pink to brown in colour it feeds on insects and grows to about 15 cms .

The common garden skink (Chalcides ocellatus) is only found in and around cultivations as well as in gardens in the cities and seems to be absent from the open desert or the dry mountains. Reaching a length of approximately 20 cms it lacks the spade-like snout of the sand fish but has the same smooth scales and glossy hue. Dark brown in colour it favours dry leaves as a hiding place and is very often found living in compost heaps, where it hunts for insects.


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