Visual Encyclopedia

Legless lizard

Legless lizard may refer to any of several groups of lizards that have independently lost limbs or reduced them to the point of being of no use in locomotion. It is the common name for the family Pygopodidae, but often refers to other groups, such as limbless anguids, depending on the region of the world. These lizards are often distinguishable from snakes on the basis of one or more of the following characteristics: possessing eyelids, possessing external ear openings, lack of broad belly scales, notched rather than forked tongue, and/or a very long tail (while snakes have a long body and short tail).

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The California Legless Lizard

The Anniella pulchra is a legless lizard that burrows underground and feeds on small insects. It is often being mistaken as a snake. However, if you look closely its body is more rounded and its head is pointy which is a common feature of a lizard. Quite a fascinating animal.

Contributed by Loreli Soria

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