The prehensile-tailed skink is a large lizard growing up to 80cm in length. As the name suggests, it possesses a prehensile (grasping) tail and four sturdy limbs equipped with very sharp claws. These features make this lizard a very powerful climber.
The prehensile-tailed skink is primarily nocturnal; spending the day curled up in a hollow tree trunk or hidden in dense foliage. As a result, little is known about its social behaviour in the wild.
This lizard is a herbivore, living on a diet of leaves and fruit.
In the Zoo, the prehensile-tailed skinks eat a variety of leaves and vegetation including dandelions, soft thistles and plantains. They also get a twice weekly treat of chopped fruit and mixed peppers. All food is supplemented with extra vitamins and minerals.
In the wild, the skink can be found in tropical rainforest in the Solomon Islands, Asia. It spends most its time high in the treetops searching for food.
In the wild the prehensile-tailed skink is under pressure due to habitat loss.
Bristol Zoo is maintaining a population of prehensile-tailed skinks in human care, together with many other European zoos.
These skinks give birth to a single baby or sometimes, twins after a 7 or 8 month gestation. The baby can weigh around one tenth of its mother’s body weight.
You can find our prehensile-tailed skink in the Reptile House, near Twilight World and the Aquarium
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