10 Sep 2012

Slow worm (Anguilis fragilis)

A very unusual spot on the slipway near the beach, a slow worm. Not at all a worm, actually a limbless reptile. This specimen looked like it had been repeatedly attacked by birds; it was covered in puncture wounds and had lost the end if its tail, a trick known as autotomy. Although snakelike in appearance, these creatures differ in having eyelids, external ears and shed their in patches rather than a snake's whole-body shed.

1 comment:

biobabbler said...

ooh, nice catch. I hope it survives!

Is it a legless lizard, something akin to the lovely silvery legless lizard they have (ONLY here & there) in So. Cal.? (http://www.californiaherps.com/lizards/pages/a.pulchra.html)

I can imagine their family reunions wherein they discuss their amazingly inaccurate common name:

"Homo sapiens, really? I suppose they think that is accurate as well!"