facebook
twitter
search
search

Scientists discover new legless lizards

No, they're not snakes.
By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   Sept. 19, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Scientists discovered four new species of legless lizards in California.

Unlike snakes, these lizards spend most of their lives underground in an area about the size of a small table.

Snakes are legless lizards, too, but these four species are not snakes. They have movable eyelids, so they can blink; they don't shed their skin in a single piece; some have external ear openings; and they don't "coil" or "slither" much. They are also said to be "more rigid" than snakes.

These four types are small, usually not longer than 8 inches and about as thick around as a pencil.

To find the species, researchers put thousands of pieces of cardboard at various sites in the hopes some of the lizards would make an unlikely above-ground appearance. They are sometimes found above ground, but only under logs or dead wood, where the ground is cool and damp.

The four species are silver-bellied Anniella alexanderae, yellow-bellied Anniella campi, purple-bellied Anniella grinnelli, and Anniella stebbinsi, all named after UC Berkeley scientists.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Some scientists want race removed from genetics research
Expedition finds lost lion population in Ethiopia
Scientists identify butterfly-like insect from the Jurassic age
Taser's effect on cognition may undermine police questioning
Study: Neanderthals' extinction blamed on lost culture war