Q:

What do skinks eat?

A:

Quick Answer

Skinks primarily eat insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles, flies, caterpillars and crickets. Though they are mostly insectivorous, skinks also eat vegetation and some varieties of fruit.

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Full Answer

Some species of skinks are more carnivorous and have a diet that includes other types of animals. They commonly eat earthworms, snails, slugs, millipedes, spiders and occasionally other lizards and small rodents. Moths and cockroaches are also among the skinks' preferred insects.

Similar to snakes, skinks stick out their tongues in order to smell and track their prey. Once they spot their prey, skinks typically chase it until it is cornered and easy to catch or swallow whole. Skinks tend to dig and burrow in the ground, a trait that not only helps them find food but also can protect them against predators.

There are roughly 1,500 species of skinks that range all over the world. Species are able to thrive in a variety of habitats that include deserts, grasslands, jungles and mountains. Depending on the species, skinks can range anywhere from 3 to 14 inches in length. Some species have fewer than four or five toes on each foot and shorter limbs, allowing them to move in a style similar to snakes. Species with more toes and longer limbs tend to be tree-dwelling. Skinks are known for their ability to shed their tails if a predator has grabbed on and then regenerate the tail once they are safe.

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