How to Handle a Legless Lizard

Clint tries something new by filming a non-stop video of him interacting with a European legless lizard (Ophisaurus apodus).


Well hey there!

This is Legolas. He’s my European Legless Lizard and what we wanted to do here today was do something we’ve never done before, which is a non-stop handling video, just so you can see what it’s like to interact with an animal like Legolas. I know when I’m looking for videos myself, this is something that I’m often looking for and I have a difficult time finding, is just see what is it like to interact with this animal. One of the most fun things about owning an animal is having the opportunity to interact with it, handle it, feed it and so we wanted to give you that opportunity.

We by no means intend to stop making our other videos. In fact we intend to get faster and faster, and much as we have appreciated all the comments and feedback that we’ve received from you about those videos, we’d also like to know, is this the kind of content you’d like to see from us, in addition to those videos, in the future, because we want to make this channel the best it can possibly be for you. So as you’re watching this, think you know, do I want to see more like this or should I give him a little feedback that nah just stick to the other videos exclusively.

So, getting back to this guy, this is Legolas, and like I said, he is a European legless lizard. Legless lizards, as he’s demonstrating right now, are notorious for being a little bit grumpy and a little bit difficult to handle and honestly he’s not bad at all. He has taken a little bit of of conditioning to handling. At first he didn’t like it at all. He’d wiggle and squirm and deathroll, like you’ve been seeing him do, a lot more. He’s calming down about it, but you definitely have to build trust with the legless lizard. This isn’t something they would encounter in the wild.

You’ll see as I handle him, I handle him very differently than I would, say, a snake and that’s because he’s not a snake. He’s a lizard. And as such, I’m holding him up front, because his body is really just this first about 40% of his length. The rest of this after that, it’s all tail and he could potentially drop that tail. So I try not to grab it. I try not to grab him at all. I try to make handling a very pleasant experience for him. Always open-handed. What I’m doing right now is called treadmilling. I’m just trying to make sure that he feels supported all the time when I’m handling him and in that way he’s not worried about hitting the ground. He can calm down and enjoy this experience. Of course right now I’m still working with him.

I definitely try to keep my handling sessions shorter and so I think we’re going to call it for today. But I’m really grateful that you were here. If you liked what you saw today, (there he goes again, you grumpy Gus) if you liked what you saw here today please like and subscribe and give us some feedback. Say, hey you know I love that. I want to see more videos like that in the future. And remember if you tell me that, it doesn’t mean we’re going to stop making our other videos. It just means we’re going to show you a lot of animals this way as well. If you didn’t like it, please don’t just dislike the video. Just tell us in the comments, you know I didn’t really enjoy that. That wasn’t a good video. I don’t want to see this kind of thing. Just stick with the other videos guys. And as always, like and subscribe and we hope to see you real soon.

Silly Goose.