Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Slow-worm

This is a juvenile slow-worm, Anguis fragilis, discovered relaxing under a flowerpot moved for mowing the lawn this weekend. 
Although snaky, it is of course a lizard without legs. (You can tell it's not a snake because it blinks.) 
It gives birth to live young and if attacked can break off its tail (autotomy) as an escape strategy. 
Apparently they are one of our longest-lived lizards, living up to thirty years in the wild and over fifty in captivity!
They are, like most of our wildlife, declining. Domestic cats are a major cause of mortality. 
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