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Terror skink

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Kingdom  Animalia
Class  Reptilia
Infraorder  Scincomorpha
Scientific name  Phoboscincus bocourti
Rank  Species
Subphylum  Vertebrata
Suborder  Sauria
Family  Scincidae
Phylum  Chordata
Order  Scaled reptiles
Terror skink i45tinypiccomrsg1hijpg
Similar  La Palma giant lizard, New Zealand storm petr, Banggai crow, Scaled reptiles, Cuban solenodon

The terror skink (Phoboscincus bocourti), also called Bocourt’s terrific skink or Bocourt's eyelid skink, is a species of skink endemic to the Île des Pins (Isle of Pines), a small islet off the coast of New Caledonia. First described in 1876, it was presumed to be extinct, but was rediscovered in 1993, and since then several individuals have been seen. Because of its small area of occupation and small population size, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being "endangered".

Contents

Terror skink Terror skinks social skinks crocodile skinks monkeytailed

Etymology

The specific name, bocourti, is in honor of French zoologist Marie Firmin Bocourt.

Distribution

Terror skink Terror skinks social skinks crocodile skinks monkeytailed

Phoboscincus bocourti is endemic to the Île des Pins (Isle of Pines), an islet with an area of 0.5 square kilometres (0.19 sq mi) off the coast of New Caledonia. It may be present on other islands in the locality.

Terror skink 11 Lazarus Species We Thought Were Extinct WebEcoist

This rare species was considered extinct until being rediscovered in 1993, and in December 2003, a specimen was found by some specialists from the French Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (the animal was photographed and filmed before being released). Before, it was only known from a single specimen, collected on the same island by a man named Balanza. Further individuals have been discovered in 2009 and 2013.

Diet

Terror skink 11 Lazarus Species We Thought Were Extinct WebEcoist

The teeth of P. bocourti are long, curved and sharp, suggesting predatory habits unusual for a large skink; most skinks are omnivorous. Its diet might include larger invertebrates, other lizards, young birds, and eggs.

Description

Terror skink giant skink Phoboscincus garnieri Photo

It is about 50 centimetres (20 in) long, making it the third largest reptilian predator on the island, the others being a prehistorically extinct land-going crocodile and goanna.

Behavior

It is presumed to be diurnal and mainly terrestrial, but may be partially arboreal.

Threats

Terror skink Terror skinks social skinks crocodile skinks monkeytailed

With such a small area of occupation, this skink is subject to threats such as habitat loss through a typhoon or wildfire, and the possibility of predatory animals being introduced to the island. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being "endangered".

Terror skink Terror Skink Phoboscincus bocourti

References

Terror skink Wikipedia


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