Lots of wild animals try to stay hidden from view.
Have you seen one of these fellows lately? If you know what he is, give us a shout in the comments. Be back later to give you an answer.
By the way, this is my 130th nature’s mystery post, a column I –Hickory Squirrel–started back in April 2012!
If you look really close you can see small scales on this animal’s back, making it a reptile. It’s in the lizard family, one called a Broad-headed Skink. It’s one of the largest, growing to a foot long if you include the tail, five and a half inches if the skink has lost his tail–which can happen if something grabs onto it! They eat mainly insects like crickets, beetles, grasshoppers and caterpillars, but will also catch smaller reptiles and rodents with their small teeth. In fact, the genus name, Plestiodon, comes form the Greek words Pleistos meaning most and odontos meaning teeth. ‘Toothy skink’–heh, good name, right?