You might have known about starfish, but have you heard of sandfish? Yes, you read it right. Sandfish or Scincus scincus is a common name for six different animals seen in Arabian, Sahara, and North African deserts. No, it is not a fish. It is a reptile that belongs to the family Scincidae—wondering how it got its misleading name? It got the name ‘sandfish’ because of their habit of swimming in the desert sand, just like how fish swim in the water. Here are some other exciting behaviors and quick facts about sandfish.
Top 15 Interesting Facts About SandFish
- Sandfish camouflages to protect from enemies, especially snakes.
- Sandfish are intelligent creatures. So many families have sandfish as a pet. It is fun to raise them at home.
- There are many subspecies, and they are also commonly called skink.
- It can live in both land and water.
- Sandfish are cold-blooded creatures. They mainly swim to prevent them from high temperatures.
- Sandfish are amazing burrowing creatures. They quickly burrow in the desert to protect themselves from predators and the hot sun. They tend to breathe under the sand.
- The shape of their head prevents sand from getting into the mouth.
- Sandfish have smooth and shiny scales, in which the ears are completely covered.
- They communicate by vibrating on the surface of the desert.
- A sandfish is five times bigger than a normal lizard.
- Clanwilliam sandfish, found in the Olifants River system in South Africa, is the rarest type of sandfish.
- Female sandfish have a broader abdomen than males to carry eggs.
- Sandfish are insectivores. They generally eat cricket and mealworms.
- In the U.S., pet sandfish cost about $50. They are easy to care for, but you need some experience.
- If you’re planning to keep sandfish as a pet, you need a 20-gallon aquarium and 2 inches of fine sand. You can feed them crickets as they are easy to find and are inexpensive.