Moss Landing Marine Labs Earthquake Reconstruction Project
California Legless Lizard Relocation Project
How can a critter that looks so much like a snake be a lizard? If you looked very closely at the California Legless Lizard (Anniella pulchra) you might see that unlike snakes, they have moveable eyelids. Also unlike most snakes, many lizards, this one included, they have the ability to purposely detach their tails to trick predators. About the length and size of a pencil, this unusual lizard burrows easily through the sand while feasting on sowbugs, ants, insects and insect larvae. As far as we can tell, legless lizards breed once a year and have been observed giving birth to as many as three offspring while in captivity. Because they thrive in the very same dunes that we humans love to frequent, these small reptiles have seen their habitats greatly impacted and are currently designated a California Species of Special Concern. They are found only in California and northern Baja.