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Audubon is proud to announce the arrival of three Shingleback Skinks at Audubon Zoo. The babies were born in August and the entire family is healthy and strong. This is the first time Audubon has successfully reproduced this species.
Shingleback Skinks, also known as pine cone skinks, get their name from the thick, armor-like scales that cover their bodies. These large, heavy bodied lizards are fairly common in their native Australia, but are hard to find in the United States due to the strict exportation laws for Australian wildlife. Audubon Zoo first acquired this species from a confiscation of smuggled animals in 1990. Another pair was obtained via confiscation in 2005 and in August 2013 this pair became parents.
Shingleback skinks are fairly monogamous and will only breed if compatible. As a result, captive births are rare. Young are born fully independent but they will typically stay close to their mother for the first two months. Both parents are tolerant of their active young, allowing Audubon to keep the family group together. The Zoo is keeping this group off exhibit to minimize stress to the animals and give the babies every possible chance to grow. For now, Audubon will keep the youngsters in the Zoo’s collection. Once they reach maturity Zoo staff will try to find mates for them so they may, one day, have a family of their own.