Meet our European Legless Lizard: “Legolas” | Kidspace Museum

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Meet our European Legless Lizard: “Legolas”

 

Where is the European Legless Lizard from?

 

They are found throughout Southeastern Europe and Central Asia.

 

- Can you find where they are from on a map? Can you find on a map where you live too?

 

What makes a legless lizard different from a snake?

 

It is often mistaken for a snake because it has no legs. If you look carefully at its head you will see some of the differences. Unlike snakes they have eyelids, ear openings, and have a shorter fleshy, forked tongue. They also have a long groove that runs along each side of the body. These long grooves, allow the back and belly to move apart. This allows their body to expand when breathing, after a large meal, or when a female is carrying eggs.

 

-Did you know that we have at least 5 species of legless lizards here in California?

 

How big do they get?

 

Adults average 2-3 feet in length. “Legolas” is currently is 2 feet 9 inches long.

 

- Did you know that its tail makes up over half its total length?

 

How do they defend themselves?

 

Legless lizards have the ability to detach their tail when threatened by a predator, which is its main defensive mechanism. It leaves the tail behind, still wiggling, to distract its predator, which allows it to get away.

 

What do European Legless Lizards eat?

 

In the wild, they eat insects, snails, slugs, small mammals, fledgling birds, and even eggs. Here at Kidspace “Legolas” is fed a variety of insects and small mice.

 

How long do they live?

 

It is unknown how long they live in the wild, but the average lifespan in captivity is 20 years.

 

Thank you for learning a little more about our European Legless Lizard! Watch our Ask Kidspace vlog where Miguel answers one of your questions about Legolas. Visit our Kidspace-At-Home Virtual Learning & Play Resources page for more!

 

 

 

 

Author Info
msalazar's picture
Bio:

Miguel Salazar, Animal Programs Coordinator, has been with Kidspace Children’s Museum since 2018. He came to work here after a 23 year career in the Veterinary field. His hobby has always been keeping and caring for exotic animals, especially reptiles which he has kept and bred for over 35 years. He attained his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Miguel’s favorite Kidspace exhibit is the Observation Beehive.

 

Miguel Salazar, Coordinador de Programas de Animales, ha estado con el Museo de Niños Kidspace desde 2018. Cuando se unió Kidspace Miguel contaba con una experiencia laboral en el sector veterinario. Su pasatiempo siempre ha sido mantener y cuidar animales exóticos, especialmente reptiles que ha mantenido y criado durante más de 35 años. Obtuvo su Licenciatura en Ciencia Animal de la Universidad Politécnica de California, Pomona. La exhibición favorita de Miguel en Kidspace es el área de observación de la colmena de abejas.