Prehensile-tailed Skink

(Corucia zebrata)

Reptiles Alive Name: “Mortimer”

Hissstory: Mortimer belonged to a former Reptiles Alive animal keeper who left for another job and left Morty here in May 2002.

RA Diet: Greens, vegetables, and fruit.

Natural Diet: Leaves, blossoms, and fruit.

Range: Solomon Islands near Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Habitat: The canopy of old-growth tropical rain forest.

Size: Prehensile tailed skinks are one of the largest skink species in the world! They can grow 18-24 inches long, most of which is tail.

Lifespan: Prehensile tailed skinks can live over 25 years.

Reproduction: Unlike most lizards, prehensile tailed skinks bear live young and even care for their babies! They become very protective of the one or two large baby skinks for about a year after giving birth.

Conservation: Prehensile tailed skinks are sometimes eaten by indigenous people, but their biggest problems are the pet trade and habitat destruction. They are now listed as CITES Appendix II and are no longer legally imported for the pet trade.

Cool Facts: Prehensile tailed skinks are nocturnal – they come out at night and sleep in the day. Because of their funny faces and nightime habits, they are sometimes referred to as “Island Gnomes” or ghosts, by the people who live in the Solomon Islands.

“Rachel was wonderful and had the kids full attention. We’ll see you again next year for my next son’s birthday!!” – Stacee Bako, Mom, Arlington, VA



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We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

Tianchan Niu

Tianchan Niu

22:09 17 Dec 17