Sea Sanctuaries Blog

Incredible reptiles....


Blue tailed skink

In Raja Ampat, we have a wide and varied pool of reptiles. This is due to the presence of varying habitats that support lots of different prey items for the reptiles that are largely carnivores. One of the most charismatic reptiles that we see regularly when we are walking through the jungles and rainforests are Pacific Blue-Tailed Skinks. Blue-tailed skinks are usually about 4 to 8 centimetres long. When they become frightened they have the ability to pop their tail off and it will continue to wiggle and distract their predator while they run away. This is an incredible and ingenious evolutionary adaptation. When you encounter them you can actually see their tails dancing wildly just in case you are a predator. We have discussed the local skinks with reptile expert Nick baker and he belives that the one found in Fam is a  Raja Ampat variant specific to our area because of the colouration of its feet! This is just one of the numerous reptiles that we see regularly, we recently discovered what may be a new species of snake too, you can see the details of that expedition here – New species of Snake!