The Chocolate Chip Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus) is a marine (saltwater) starfish in the Oreasteridae family. It is also known as the Horned Sea Star. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone.It is not a fish, so scientists prefer to say that it is a sea star.
The Chocolate Chip Sea Star has five elongated tube limbs, called arms or feet. It has several black or dark-brown tubercles on its arms. It has a greyish body with dark stripes that connect the tubercles.
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The Eastern Shingleback Lizard (Tiliqua rugose asper) is a reptile in the Scincidae family of blue-tongued skinks. It is also called the Two-Headed Skink.
The Eastern Shingleback Lizard is a wide, stumpy-tailed, slow-moving lizard armoured with brown and cream shingles, or scales. It has a triangular-shaped head and a distinct neck. Its tongue is bright blue. Its legs are short.
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The Common Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis Mascularis) is a small ground-dwelling reptilian lizard.
The Common Leopard Gecko is pale beige with dark-brown markings and spots. Its back is covered with small lumps. It has short legs with short nails on its toes, which are used for gripping objects (it does not have sticky pads on its feet). It has movable eyelids. It has about 100 small teeth. It has a thick, fleshy tail.
It can regenerate its tail if if drops off. This is called caudal autotomy. It regularly sheds its skin (about once a month). This is called moulting.
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The European Green Lizard (Lacerta viridis) is a reptile.
The European Green Lizard is green with small spots on its back. The male has a bluish throat, and the female’s throat is lighter blue. It is well camouflaged in the grass. It drops its tail to evade predators. The tail regenerates – it grows back. This is called autotomy.
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The Red Knob Sea Star (Protoreaster linckii) is a starfish. It is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. It is also known as the Red Knob Starfish, the Red Spine Star, or the African Red Knob Sea Star. It is not a fish, so scientists prefer to say that it is a sea star.
The Red Knob Sea Star has five elongated tube limbs, called arms or feet. It has several bright red tubercles on its arms. It has a grey body with red stripes that connect the tubercles.
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The Dalmatian Linckia (Linckia multifora) is a starfish, a marine (saltwater) invertebrate, because it has no backbone. It is also called the Spotted Linckia or Multicolour Sea Star. It is not a fish.
The starfish is an echinoderm (meaning prickly skin) in the Asteroidea class (meaning star-shaped).
It has five elongated tube limbs (feet or arms) pink or reddish mottled with white and yellow colours that taper slightly towards the tips.
The surface has a rough texture and is covered in granulations.
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What is autotomy?
Some lizards, when alarmed or startled, can drop off their entire tail, or part of it.
This is called autotomy.
It is quite common and it does not cause any pain.
The part that comes off, wriggles away for a few minutes as if it is a small lizard. The wriggling is intentional and is caused by muscle contractions (squeezing).
It is a trick, so that lizards can escape and hide. Predators chase the wriggling part and not the lizard.
A new tail grows back, but it is sometimes a different color to the first tail. If a tail is broken off accidentally, another tail grows back.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM