Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blue Tongue Baby

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Many years ago we realized that we had a resident Blue Tongue lizard. We would see him at various spots on our small residential block seeking out a corner to sun himself in or looking for a morsel to eat.


Look alike for Bluey



We named our new resident Bluey. One day my daughter walked from the hall into the adjoining garage and stepped onto Bluey - 'very soft and squishy' was how she described the sensation.

A while later one of the kids came in from playing outside to report that there was a very flattened Blue Tongue on the road out in front of our place so we sadly farewelled Bluey and forgot about him.


Then one day we noticed another Blue Tongue had moved in and taken up residence and so we called this one Son of Bluey. He has been luckier. Son of Bluey treks across our block under the safety of the verandah which runs around three sides of our house. Our dog can detect his every movement by sound and by smell and has become rather neurotic. We can always tell when Son of Bluey is on the move.








Grandson of Bluey


But on the weekend this little fellow came visiting. - We were so excited. Who could it be but - Grandson of Bluey.



He hissed and spat out his little baby blue tongue as I bent close to take his picture. Later in the day the dog tracked down Grandson of Bluey and made such a ruckus that the fearful baby Bluey managed to squeeze between the sliding glass door and the screen and find sanctuary in my bedroom. It took three of us (excluding the dog) and some gentle coaxing to get him back outside.




What a tongue


Tammy from gatorgamez.com has kindly said that I can show you her amazing photo of a blue tongue's tongue in action. (www.flickr.com/photos/7664403@N03/2295750646)



February is the month when baby Blue Tongues are out and about. There are a number of different Blue Tongue lizards In Australia. Ours is the Eastern or common variety. They can grow to 60cm in length.



Western Blue Tongue



When threatened they react by sticking out their blue tongue which contrasts vividly with the pink of their mouth. They might also hiss and flatten their bodies to give the illusion of greater size.




Northern Blue Tongue



The lizards are actually from the skink family, Scincidae. They can travel through fifteen backyards and across a number of roads within a day. They smell through their nostrils and through the tongue. In addition to eating snails, slugs, flowers and fruit they can be partial to dog food. My dog is not silly. He knew that.



Shingle back Blue Tongue


I have read that blue Tongues can live for thirty years. All going well Grandson of Bluey and I should live to a ripe old age together.



Eastern Blue Tongue


The photos on this post, other than the Flikr Blue Tongue and the ones of mine of Grandson of Bluey, come from the ABC website: abc.net.au/science/scribbleygum/February

16 comments:

  1. I rather like lizards ... but 60cm?!! That is a little big for me. I assume these are useful creatures? Eating mice, maybe?

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  2. Hello Violet. It seems as if they eat smaller critters and vegetable matter. They don't chew food but hold it in their mouths and crush it. We also have the frill necked lizard and he is gorgeous.

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  3. Lots of comments. First of all it seems that a 60 cm lizard could crush kittens and puppies in addition to loving dog food. The story about Bluey's demise is sad! Third, I like the new background but it could take some getting used to (I feel the same about mine). Finally, I decided against the Found Poetry Project referenced. It seems more like being a publicist for someone rather than creating found poetry. The rest I'll put in an email.

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  4. Meri, Thanks I'll look forward to hearing from you.
    No these lizards are harmless. The ones we have in the national park are enormous - Goannas, they grow to about a metre in length. I'll find a photo of one. They are not shy and hang around the BBQ area looking for stray chops and meat scraps. They prey on the bush turkey eggs and babies. (bush turkeys that is - don't get alarmed, it's not a dingo - but we do have many dingoes on the north shore and they can attack children.)

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  5. When I was living at Tingira cresent(Noosa) we had one walking one day ,wauw what a beautiful peace of work is that!first time i had ever seen one in my life ,I do see them now on occasion here in Brisbane i actually saved one recently he was sun baking in the middle of the road.
    Very nice post again Delwyn freshly put together,thanks.

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  6. Hello Mona, I know Tingira Cres at Sunrise...Yes they do seem to fall victim to cars, your one was lucky not to be plastered in the middle of the road!
    And thanks for the compliments too.

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  7. I love these pictures. I couldn't believe it when I saw the blue tongue and orange eyes. Super cool. xoxoxo

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  8. Fascinating! Nothing of the kind here in California. I love the first photo of the blue tongue!

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  9. Renee: Isn't nature just so amazing... the adaptations creatures have for survival.

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  10. Dan: Nice to see you, That photo is superb isn't it. I wonder how many shots were taken...

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  11. wow! their tongues really ARE blue! that's amazing! and makes you wonder about the evolutionary reasons why...or at least that's what it makes me wonder.

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  12. Hi Julochka, the baby that came to visit on the weekend already had the bright blue tongue. It's good to wonder...

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  13. and here I thought I must have found 'the missing link' as I watched some mysterious ancient-looking creature slide/slink down the hill through the leaves and under the house on the backside of the Duke rental at Sunshine Beach. Nope, it was definitely of the skink family - possibly even a relative of your Bluey. What incredible memories we have of our time down under!

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  14. Val - gidday...what a wonderful time we had together...

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