Changing Planet

“Two-headed” Skink Born at Chicago Zoo

Zookeepers at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo are celebrating the birth this week of a shingleback skink. “A miniature replica of the adults, this scaly newborn has a face only a mother, and perhaps a zookeeper, could love,” Lincoln Park said in the caption released with this photo.


Photo of shingleback skinks by Joel Pond

Native to Australia, shingleback skinks are sometimes called two-headed skinks due to their deceptive characteristics, the zoo said. “Their tail is shaped exactly like their head (minus the eyes and mouth). This feature is effective at confusing predators.”

Although the shingleback skink is fairly common in the wild, births are rare in zoos. This is Lincoln Park Zoo’s fourth birth since 2000.

For more photos of animals in zoos, visit Zoo News >>

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • Karen

    I have found a Two Headed Skink, in my garden! I have no kids, cats or dogs, so hopefully it feels safe here. I give her fresh fruit and water!
    Congrats. on the birth of your baby Skink at the zoo! Well done!

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