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The Scincoid, or Skinc-Formed Lizard


This lizard comes nearer to the Scincus than any I am acquainted with, but is still a distinct species.

In the two specimens sent over by Mr. White, one had a process on the upper part of the tail, near the top, almost like a supernumerary or forked tail, but which I rather conceive to be natural; and as this one was a male I am inclined to think that this is peculiar to that sex, which would in some degree have been more clearly made out if the other, which had not this process, had proved a female; but as its being gutted and stuffed before I saw it prevented my examination, this remains still to be proved: but what makes the conjecture very probable is that it is mentioned by Mr. White that some are without and some with this process. Now if it was a monster, arising either from accident, or originally so formed, it would hardly be so common as to be taken notice of. The tail is longer than that of the Scincuses, and not so taper; the animal is of a dark iron-grey colour, which is of different shades in different parts, forming a kind of stripes across the back and tail.

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The scales of the cuticle are strong, but not so much so as those of the Scincus. Its legs are short and strong, covered with the same kind of scales as the body, but the scales of the feet are not. On the cuticle are small knobs, as if it were studded.

Colour plate facing page 242 of '1. The Skinc-formed Lizard, 2. Eggs, 3. The Egg as broken, 4. The Young.'

The toes on each foot are pretty regular; the difference in length not great, and the same on both the fore and hind foot; which is not the case with the Scincus, it having a long middle toe.

There are small short nails on each toe; on their upper surface they are covered with a series of scales, which go half round, like a coat of mail.

Just within the verge of the external opening of the ear on the anterior edge is a membrane, covering about one-third of it, which is scolloped on its loose or unattached edge; this can hardly be called an external ear, nor can it be called the reserve, viz. a valve; but if it is an assistant to hearing, which it most probably is, it should be considered as the external ear.

The teeth are in a row on each side of each jaw, becoming gradually larger backwards. They are short above the gum, and rounded off, fitted for breaking or bruising of substances more than cutting or tearing.