Slow worm Facts

Slow worm Facts
Slow worm is a type of legless lizard that belongs to the family Anguidae. There are two species of slow worms: Peloponnese slow worm and slow worm. They can be found in Europe, Africa and Asia. Slow worm inhabits grasslands, woodlands, gardens, parks and other areas that provide enough moisture and shelter (rocks and rubber or metal sheets). Population of slow worms is large and stable in the wild. These animals are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Slow worm Facts:
Slow worm can reach 8 to 20 inches in length and 0.7 to 3.5 ounces of weight. Females are slightly larger than males.
Slow worm has grey, brown or bronze-colored body. Females are usually brown or red-colored with black line that stretches along their spine. Males are mostly grey-colored and covered with blue spots that become especially prominent during the breeding season.
Slow worm has small head with miniature eyes, forked tongue, smooth, shiny skin and long tail. Males have broader heads than females.
Slow worm can be distinguished from snakes by eyelids and ear openings that are absent in snakes.
Slow worm is diurnal animal (active during the day).
Slow worm is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on slugs, young snails, hairless caterpillars, spiders, lice, beetles and earthworms. It occasionally eats small reptiles.
Slow worms are welcome guests in many gardens because they keep pests under control.
Main predators of slow worms are badgers, foxes, cats, snakes and birds of prey.
Like many other species of lizards, slow worm is able to detach its tail in the case of danger. Piece of tail continues to wriggle and distracts predator. Slow worm uses this opportunity to escape. Tail soon starts to regenerate, but incompletely (it cannot re-grow to the original size).
Slow worm hides under the piles of rock, in the hedgerows or dry stone walls from October to February/March. Winter period of dormancy, called brumation (similar to hibernation of warm-blooded creatures) ensures survival during the coldest period of the year when food sources are scarce.
Mating season of slow worms takes place during the April and May.
Males fight to establish dominance and get opportunity to mate with females.
Female gives birth to 6 to 12 live babies after 4 to 5 months of pregnancy. Young slow worms are born during the August and September. They are 1.6 inches long at birth and covered with golden stripes.
Males reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 to 4 years, females at the age of 4 to 5 years. Slow worms reach adult length at the age of 6 to 8 years.
Slow worm can survive from 20 to 30 years in the wild (53 years is the longest recorded lifespan of this species).

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