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TOTALLY off-topic - calling all reptile specialists!

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Old 10-16-2008, 07:46 PM   #1
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Default TOTALLY off-topic - calling all reptile specialists!

What IS this???



OK, so this deserves some explanation.

About 3 years ago, we move our lamp and find the smaller version of this creature right underneath. Well, my partner, being a delicate creature, panics. She jumps onto the counter and bursts into tears. I am similarly freaked, but ONE of us has to deal with it. So, I call my dad. And ask him what to do.

Between the two of us, we devise an elaborate trap, consisting of (no, I'm not making this up) a paper towel tube, a piece of foil, a snow cone cup, and a pair of tongs. So I coerce the THING into the tube by poking it (gripping the tube, one end of which was plugged with foil, with the tongs), and eventually it runs in. At which point I throw the snow cone over the open end of the tube, run screaming out to the street (I'm not proud) and fling all but the tongs into the gutter (I picked up the trash later).

That thing pictured? The older brother (or perhaps...grown up version?) of the thing I flung out three years ago.

I'm not girly about things, except those things that crawl. Particularly on weird bendy thin looking legs. With weird side flipper things. Also spiders. :shudder:

What the heck is it? And more importantly, is it currently outside of my apartment looking for revenge for throwing it into the street? (I'm kidding about the last bit. Sort of.)
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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DS#1 wants to know if it has skinny legs and flipper things.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:58 PM   #3
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YES. Skinny legs and flipper things - check!
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:02 PM   #4
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It appears to be a skink of some variety or another

I checked google, and there are two skink species native to California (not that it couldn't be an invasive species).

Gilbert's Skinks, Eumeces gilberti, and
Western Skinks, Eumeces skiltonianus

are native to California.

From the descriptions, and photos, I suspect that if it is one of the two, then it's a Gilbert's Skink rather than the Western Skink. The Western has distinctionve vertical stripes, and the Gilbert's Skink is solid green, grey, olive or brown and only the juveniles have horizontal stripes that apparently fade with age.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:04 PM   #5
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Ew! and I'm not usually squeemish .... http://www.californiaherps.com/salam...nderspics.html
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:04 PM   #6
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sounds like a skink.

Sorta halfway between a snake and a lizard. They're not poisonous ... really not dangerous at all. But if you're freaked out by snakes, they're kinda in the same category.

Pitch it outside and shut the door and you shoudl be ok!

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Old 10-16-2008, 08:04 PM   #7
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My daughter says it looks like a legless lizard.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:11 PM   #8
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Interesting fact from a book I'm reading...apparently, people in areas that have no snakes, that have never seen a snake, and have never HEARD of a snake, will still recoil when they see one. An instinctual negative reaction to snakes is thought to be an evolved trait that is literally built into our brains.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:24 PM   #9
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There was a cool animal planet show about Macaque's (monkeys). Aparently Macaques in warm climates have a very specific call for snakes (as opposed to their call for other dangers). They decided to see if Japanese Macaques (the snow monkeys that sit in their little hot spring jacuzzis) would recognize the call (whether it was so specific that monkeys who'd never seen a snake would know that it was a call for snakes).

When they played the call back to the warm climate macaques they'd react as if a snake was present (looking on the ground where a snake would be expected to be and showing fear), but when they played it back to the snow monkeys, they recognized it as a distress call, but not the nature of the distress (they didn't just look at the ground, they looked more generically around, including at the sky).

Fascinating stuff if you're super geeky like me.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:26 PM   #10
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We can geek out together.

I'm currently reading "The Science of Fear". Its talking about all of our weird fear signals and how they get mixed up in a modern world, so we're afraid of things we shouldn't be and not of things we should.

I HIGHLY recommend it.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:35 PM   #11
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It does sound really interesting. I'll have to check it out.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:59 PM   #12
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My kids would dig your skink!! As would DH. I'm actually ok with it at this point in my life. But, absolutely NOT in my house. Well, maybe in a tank in my house. But not if it has a smell. Snakes emit this funky odor when freaked. I know this from snake catching with my four boys, as a summer activity. I have a feeling skinks do too. So, nope NOT in my house

Adios mandallin's skink!
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:09 PM   #13
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oh, frick.

I'm such a girl about creepy crawly things....I found a roach in our house about a year ago and packed up my DS and left the house until DH could come home and get rid of it.

You are way more brave than I would be in that situation.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
Interesting fact from a book I'm reading...apparently, people in areas that have no snakes, that have never seen a snake, and have never HEARD of a snake, will still recoil when they see one. An instinctual negative reaction to snakes is thought to be an evolved trait that is literally built into our brains.

What a fun fact! I have to say, I just experienced it... I looked at that link that SusanB posted, of the salamanders... and the ones that look like our salamanders around here (fat bodies, substantial legs/feet) looked sorta cute, but the ones that looked like snakes with tiny legs gave me chills. *shudder*
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:23 PM   #15
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Maybe it's because I'm from Canada and it's far too cold here for reptiles, but I would CRY if I seen that THING in my house haha.
The first time I seen a lizard I was in the Dominican Republic... it was staring at me. I almost fainted.
And this is coming from the girl who's favourite animals are rats. love love LOVE.
We may have some sort of reptiles here, but I've never seen one. Can you tell I'm a big city girl?
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