This Lizard Has The Most Unusual Wormlike Appearance

IFLSciencePublished: March 23, 2018Updated: April 4, 201818 plays$0.05 earned
Published: March 23, 2018Updated: April 4, 2018

Meet the Mexican mole lizard. The”Bipes Biporus” was spotted by scientists Sara Ruane and Kaitlyn Kraybill-Voth while they were on biodiversity survey for islands and seas in San Juanico. It’s an animal known as an “amphisbaenian” - a type of elongate burrowing reptile that is often pink and wormlike in appearance. They have front strong legs, but its back legs have vanished shrunk by evolution into small vestigial bones.

These subterranean creatures are hard to spot. They grow to around 9 inches long, and use their claws for digging underground. However, they will come above ground at night, and are known to eat variety of insects. Locals say they climb inside you when you squat to use the toilet, but that’s a total myth, and bipes are completely harmless.

Bipes is the only amphisbaenian genus with limbs, in particular, members of this genus have small but well developed forelimbs. As a species, B. biporus always has five digits on each limb, its head is blunt, and it burrows in sandy desert soils on the peninsula of Baja, California. The lizard’s tail is short and autotomic, although once it is lost it will not regenerate.

This species lives in self-constructed tunnels in the soil and, although it typically resides close to the surface, it rarely emerges from underground. As a result, its most likely predators are snakes, which are well suited to enter and navigate its underground burrow systems. Bipes biporus is active year-round, due in part to its capacity for behavioral thermoregulation.

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