Skinks are lizards belonging to the family Scincidae. Together with several other lizard families, including Lacertidae (the “true” or wall lizards), they comprise the superfamily or infraorder Scincomorpha. With more than 1500 described species, the Scincidae are the most diverse family of lizards.
I pulled all that shit from Wikipedia. I’m not that much of an expert.
If I had never been in the house I live, whether living or visiting, I would have probably never seen one. However, they are extremely plentiful around my area. Not a summer goes by without seeing at least one (but it’s more like dozens).
My mother lived only a couple of miles away from me until recently when she had to move in with me. She’s now seeing them all the time and she’s both amazed and delighted at them. She just sent me an email telling me she saw one with a reddish head. While I’ve never seen one with a red head, typically the ones we see around here have blue tails, which is common, especially around here.
Ok, so that one had a reddish head. Whatever.
If you’ve never seen or heard of skinks, they basically look like salamanders, and can be found in just about any type of habitat. We see them baking in the sun all the time. Sometimes, they’re so happy baking in the sun, they don’t care if you pet them. Some even let you put a leash on them and walk them down the street. Some go to the grocery store with you, and if you tip them enough, they’ll actually go to the store FOR you.
The one above was the biggest one we had ever seen. I did see one last year that was big (almost that big) on the side of the house. When he saw me he freaked out and tried to run, but he was so big he fell off of the side of the house. He kept trying to get back on it and run, and he kept falling. I pointed and laughed at his troubles. He cried. We spent the next hour cuddling.
Depending on the species, they can eat anything from flies, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars, to earthworms, millipedes, snails, slugs, isopods, other lizards, and small rodents. Some have even been known to eat people.
Skinks love to dig in the ground and make tunnels that help them get to where they need to go without being bothered by predators or bullies, who only want their lunch money.
Skinks typically give birth to live young, while some species lay eggs. Others count on the stork.
You can see all sorts of awesome pictures of skinks on Google Image Search, just like these. You can click the pictures for better views.
Skinks would probably make awesome pets, and there are people who have them as pets. If you can find a reputable pet shop with one for sale, go that route. Nabbing one from the wild could be fun and free, but it might have young dependent on it, so don’t do that. Plus, those wild skinks can be trouble if you piss them off enough, and they’ll shank you.