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Blue-Tongued Lizard Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

The blue-tongued lizard is one kind of lizard found in only a few places in the wild. Come learn about this lizard, how it got its name, where you can find them and some other neat facts about this lizard.

What is a Blue-Tongued Lizard?

Imagine walking through a forest, enjoying a warm afternoon. You aren't looking where you're walking and almost step on a lizard! As you pull your foot away, it makes a hissing noise and flashes a bright blue tongue. You aren't sure what it is so you move away fast. You've just met a blue-tongued lizard!

Blue-Tongued Lizard
Blue-Tongued Lizard

Blue-tongued lizards are large lizards with short legs, a short tail, a bright blue tongue and a pink mouth. Their very noticeable tongue is how they got their name. They are sometimes called blue-tongued skinks because skinks are a kind of lizard. They are also the biggest kind of skink and are usually about seventeen inches long.

Blue-Tongued Lizard with Short Legs and a Short Tail
Blue-Tongued Lizard with Short Legs and a Short Tail

Blue-tongued lizards are covered in scales that partially lay over other scales, the way bird feathers overlap. This helps keep the dirt from getting underneath since they can't take showers to get clean.

Where do Blue-Tongued Lizards Live?

In the wild, blue-tongued lizards are found in Australia and New Guinea. They live in places like grassy areas, deserts, or in the woods where there are a lot of dead leaves on the ground. This helps them blend in with their environment. They snooze under rocks, leaves, or in logs.

Blue-tongued lizards are cold-blooded which means their body doesn't make its own heat the way yours does. If it's very cold outside, they will stay nestled in their hiding spot, like you might in a sleeping bag. If it's nice and toasty, they like to come out and take a sun bath to warm up their bodies. They are most active during the day, like you are.

What do Blue-Tongued Lizards Eat?

If you were a snail, worm, insect, fruit or berries, you would be on the blue-tongued lizard's menu. They are omnivores and eat both plants and meat.

They have big teeth and a muscular jaw that can squash a snail shell so they can enjoy a snack. Those muscular jaws also deliver a fierce bite, and blue-tongued lizards hang on as long as possible, so it's best to leave them alone. They aren't poisonous, but you might end up with a nasty, painful bruise.

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