Blue Tongue Skink!


(upbeat music) – So right now we
are out exploring in some back country
and we’re searching for diurnal species of snakes
and lizards right now. And, this is a pretty
unique environment. Very dry. Guys, right here. Look at this, look
at this snake. – Is that a stick?
– No, no, no it’s a skink. Looks just like a snake. Look at that right there. Oh no. Wait, where’d it go? (lively drum music) The Australian outback is home to a variety of
reptilian inhabitants. And having an encounter with one is often a matter
of finding yourself walking in the right
place at the right time. Today we are exploring
the outlying boarders of Meandarra, a
remote rural town that boasts over 350 square
miles of pristine outback. The terrain is a rugged
seemingly endless maze of sparse and
scraggly underbrush. Which, for the most part, is incredibly unforgiving
when it comes to hiking. So right now, we
are out exploring in some back country
and we’re searching for diurnal species of
snakes and lizards right now. King Browns, Bearded
Dragons, Sand Goannas, skinks of various sorts,
from the Blue-tongued to the Shingleback and this is a pretty unique
environment, very dry. Look at this all the
branches just break apart. It is like a giant
tinderbox out here. To help the aid against the
environmental challenges, we are exploring along an experienced team
of animal specialists, Lockie Gilding and Max Jaxon, from Australian
Wildlife Encounters. Working under special permits, they will be helping us
navigate the landscape as we attempt to get a variety of reptilian inhabitants
up close for the cameras. Take a stop and look right here. Spiders. Guys, right here. Look at this, look
at this snake. – Is that a stick?
– No, no, no it’s a skink. Looks just like a snake. Look at that right there. Nestled down right in
the crux of that log. You see it? I thought it was a snake up over the top of that. That is actually, that’s
a Blue-tongued skink. Hold on, you gotta
get a shot of it. They’re not real fast,
but it will often times give you a great
defensive display. Let me see. Hi buddy. Let’s get you out of here. There we go. Come this way. Oh, he’s getting in the grass. Oh no, wait where’d he go? Okay he’s coming this way. Hi buddy. – Right here, right here.
– Look at that, look at that. That is what they will do. They will rear up their
heads and show you that distinctive blue tongue. That’s incredible. Look at that tongue. Alright, I’m gonna pick it up
and let’s bring it over here. Oh, without gettin’
it, there we go. Hi buddy. How are you? Look at that lizard. Okay, here, back
up a little bit. Wow. This is great. The Blue-tongued skink. Now this is one of the species I hoped we would encounter
here in Australia and when it comes
to skink species, I would say, this is not
only one of the most common, but also one of the most iconic. The name, Blue-tongued
skink, you guys can imagine where that comes from and
let me sorta blow some air in front of it’s nose
and see if I can get it to stick it’s tongue out. You guys ready? Now use that tongue. There you go. You see that? Sensing my hand right now,
there you go, tasting my hand. Turn a little bit so you
can see it there, Mario. Not aggressive at all, look
at that, but often times when we find them on the ground their first defensive posture is to rear their body around,
open up that mouth and go, hiss, hiss, display
that large blue tongue. Now they are not venomous but, that blue-tongue is aposematic, potentially warning a
predator that you don’t know if I’m venomous or not
and if I am and I bite ya, it’s gonna be a really bad day. But this lizard is
completely harmless. Now often times,
here in Australia, people will see these
reptiles in their backyard and they’ll call animal
services and say, “I’ve got a snake
in my backyard, “somebody come and remove it.” But it’s more likely a
skink than it is a snake. And you can see why people
often times misidentify them, if I hold those legs
down to the side, it looks just like
the body of a snake, and even when they move
through the environment, their general locomotion
that propels them forward, makes them look like a snake. Here, I’m gonna set
it down on the ground and watch the way that
this reptile moves. Here, you ready? You gotta good shot there? Alright, I’m gonna let it go. – [Mario] Kinda just glides
through the environment. – Yeah, and those scales are incredibly smooth and
because they’re so smooth, that allows them to easily
glide over the underbrush, underneath logs, over
rocks, you name it, these creatures are
constantly on the move. Little nomads spending their
day searching for food. Wow, that is one really
awesome looking lizard. Now one thing that’s really
cool about this lizard species is that they’re ovoviviparous
and what that means is that they give
birth to live young. Now the Blue-tongued
skink will give birth to anywhere between
two and six baby skinks and do you guys know what
baby skinks are called? – [Mario] Uh, skinklets. – Actually that’d be a really
good name for baby skinks, but it’s technically
called a litter. And I guess maybe if it’s
a litter, like puppies, maybe an individual skinklet
is called a pup, I don’t know. – [Mario] I like skinklets. – I like skinklets better. Let’s officially
call them skinklets. – [Mario] Can you talk about
those little back legs? – They’re pretty
cute aren’t they? – [Mario] Yeah, let’s
take a look at those. – Let’s see you’re legs buddy. Look at those little stumpers. Now they do have really sharp
claws and they’re capable of climbing up and
over logs, rocks, fit through narrow crevisses. They’re opportunistic
omnivores, which means they’re always on
the move searching for small little
insects, arachnids, and sometimes even
feasting on plants. Now look at the
length of this lizard. A little over a foot long,
and this is about average size for a full-grown adult and
it’s really hard to distinguish between the males
and the females. But typically, the males
grow just a bit bigger than their female counterparts. Look at that tail. Short and stubby. and this lizard is not
capable of dropping its tail, like some lizard species. Some species of skink actually
store fat in their tails similar to that of Gila monster, and they will actually live
off of that fat during times of drought and a
lack of food source. That’s interesting, they
have really large ear holes on the back side of their heads. So I imagine they must
have great hearing because they’re bodies
are so low to the ground. I imagine they sense a lot of
movement in their environment, so, let’s say something like
a Dingo were to come across. He could probably feel it
from quite a distance away and be able to scurry underneath
a log or into a burrow. Oh, actually, you know what? This skink has ticks on it. I don’t know if
you can see that. Zoom in on the side
of it’s head there. It has two ticks. – [Mario] Oh, is that
what that lump is? – Yeah, those are two ticks
stuck on the side of it’s head. Actually buddy, you
want us to help you out? I can remove those
ticks for you. Now that is a parasite
on the reptile, and actually, I’m
gonna help you out, I’m gonna remove your ticks. ‘Cause those ticks
are just feeding off of this animal’s
blood right now. Hold on a second, actually,
Mario, can you hold the skink? Stick your hand out
here for a second. Hold on to the skink. I’m gonna get a
multi-tool out of my bag. Aw, poor little guy, you’ve
got parasites on you. Okay, go ahead and
bring him back here. Now this is not gonna hurt
the lizard in any way, and actually they
almost look like scales. Okay, I’m gonna just,
hold him down like this. – [Mario] I can give
you a hand with that. – No, I should be
able to get him. See right there,
there’s a little tick. Got it. That’s one. I know, I know buddy. I think he know that
we’re helping him out. Oh gosh, that one’s
really in there. Got it, (groans), that’s
no good, that’s no good. I got your ticks bud. Look at that! Alright, I’m just going
to flick those off back into the wild. Don’t worry, I won’t
flick ’em at you guys. – [Mario] This way please. – That way, alright ready? There they go. Alright that is one happy skink. Does that feel better? Now that you don’t
have ticks on you? Look at the coloration
of the eyes. Absolutely gorgeous,
golden on the outside and that dark black pupil. They have excellent
eyesight during the day. And now the tongue is
starting to come out, you guys noticing that? That big blue-tongue
and they’re using that to sense their environment. They use that to
help detect chemicals which helps them
find their food. Wow, this was pretty
awesome, coming across one of the most iconic
lizard species here in Australia, the
Blue-tongued skink. I’m Coyote Peterson,
be brave, stay wild, we’ll see you on
the next adventure. (orchestral music) The bizarre nature of
the Blue-tongued skink with it’s short, stumpy
legs, snake-like movements, and big blue tongue,
certainly classify it as one of the most unique
reptiles we have featured on the Brave Wilderness Channel. And while they are often
misidentified in Australia for being snakes, it’s
important to remember that these lizards, despite
their aggressive display, are only interested in
escaping human interaction, and should always be
considered harmless. Hey coyote pack, I have
some exciting news! I’m proud to announce
that the crew and I will be back on tour in 2018
with Brave Wilderness Live, visiting cities all
across North America. Our first shows are in Anaheim
and San Diego, California. From there, we head
to Phoenix, Arizona, beyond that, we will be visiting
San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon;
Seattle, Washington, and Boulder, Colorado;
with many more shows to be announced in
the coming months. Tickets can be purchased at
the Brave Wilderness website, so make sure to reserve your
seats today and don’t forget, subscribe, so you can
join me and the crew on this season of
Breaking Trail. I’m Coyote Peterson, be brave– – [Crowd] Stay wild!

100 thoughts on “Blue Tongue Skink!

  1. My daughter(7) has a pet blue tongue and loved this video, and it was a pretty nice look at a beautiful Australian animal, however we LOL'ed when you talk about Australians thinking they were snakes, pretty much every Australian knows a blue tongue when we see one! Maybe immigrants to Australia may call a snake catcher if they see one, anyone who has lived here all our lives is familiar with these common backyard visitors though. Also they look nothing like a snake, unless you only get a glimpse of a back hiding in a log or something 🙂

  2. You shouldn’t remove ticks from him its nature the ticks feed of the lizard then when done drop off and get esten by insects which then get esten by the lizard

  3. Surprisingly docile for such a large lizard caught in the wild. I know a few snakes like the kingsnake are similarly docile but not so much in large lizards. Heh, a wild green iguana can mess you up. Now that I think about it. That skink would have probly eaten those ticks you picked off.

  4. I own a blue tongue myself, and actually they ARE capable of dropping their tails, it's just rare for them to do so. Growing their tails back takes about a year, and from what I've seen, they don't always come back looking pretty. Shinglebacks are actually the only species of blue-tongue that cannot drop their tail.

    In fact, looking at the skink you caught, I'm willing to bet it had dropped its tail at one point. They do have pretty short and stumpy tails compared to most lizards, but usually not THAT short. Looking at the tip of this one's tail, there's a little nub, it doesn't come to a clean point at the end like a skink's tail should.

  5. These things are everywhere – you don't need to go bush to find one. I'm 5 minutes from sydney CBD and have seen a few including one in my garden which I re-homed to nearby bush land so the neighbors cats wouldn't kill it. Once they realise your not going to eat them, they calm right down.

  6. Blue tounge skinks have to eat rock also in order for there food to digest. If they don't eat rocks they will die. I had one for 3 years.

  7. I live in Australia and one day at school we found a blue tongue skink and one my friends stroked it, then it just stuck it's tongue out acting all pissed then someone picked it up and took it away and I hope he didn't get bit.

  8. Blue tongues even hunt down some species of snake. I've seen wild ones nomming on some red belly blacks. As pets, they are super interactive and curious. Absolute sweethearts. Even wild ones are amazingly sweet if you are respectful and keep a distance. They'll accept some Bananna tossed out and go back to defending your yard.

  9. I used to have a pet skink. We never really fed it because our garden was full of vegetation and lots of insects will come, so we let him/her eat them.

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  11. I love this episode! I love that you helped the skink 💙 I'm planning on one day getting a captive breed blue tongued skink as a pet. They are so docile and lovely

  12. When I was a child the first reptile I ever had was this little five lined skink I caught outside my house and went on to have for 6 years and he was only like a little 5 inch puppy dog.

  13. I love lizards, I catch them in my back yard. one time I caught a lizard that had orange scales on the bottom of his stomach.❤🦎

  14. I have that lizard in my primary school I remember when they let me hold the blue tongue lizard and it sheds skin for growth to bad that now I’m in high school

  15. I'm usually more of a phobic when it comes to snakes and lizards (we don't really have many here in my Central European home country), but skinks, geckos, komodos and many of those smaller critters kinda mesmerize me and then the blue of this one's tongue, I really like that hue 🤩 What really surprised that those tick could bite through its skin, I always thought those would be less penetrable than regular skin or fur (obviously no expert on that front here -.-)

  16. I come across these a heap here near Melbourne. I was just out walking my dogs and came across one, it scared the crap out of me because it lunged and hissed with its tongue out. Always keep your dogs on a leash when you're walking in nature or these little guys and others can be put in danger.

  17. I like how just casually in the middle of the episode you just helped this skink and removed ticks then just went on with the presentation, what a professional!!

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