Beware the electric blue tail

We have an abundance of these little blue-tailed skinks (Plestiodon fasciatus) at the farm lately. When I was a kid, my Granddad (who, by the way, called these "scorpions") told me to stay away from them because they're poisonous. Turns out they're not poisonous, but the tails can be toxic to any animal (such as a dog or cat) who might happen to eat one. It can make them sick for several days with a vertigo-like illness that affects the nervous system. Meanwhile, the skink can survive just fine without the tail, and even grow a new one back. Anyway, I guess it's best to take Granddaddy's advice and keep your distance. :)

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