Scincus scincus (*)
The Sandfish (Scincus scincus) is a species of skink that burrows into the sand and swims  through it. It is native to North Africa but is also kept as a pet elsewhere.
The name sandfish originated because of its ability to move through sand as if it were swimming. Adult sandfish usually reach about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in length, including the short tail.
The sandfish has developed a peculiar way of dealing with the desert heat: it possesses the ability to dive into the (soft) sand. It does this to prevent overheating (as it is cold blooded) and whenever it feels threatened.
The species has a long, wedge-shaped snout with a countersunk lower jaw. Its long, tapered body is covered with smooth, shiny scales, and its legs are short and sturdy with long, flattened and fringed feet. The tail is short, tapering to a fine point. The colouration of this species is considered attractive, being yellow-caramel with brown-black cross bands. This type of lizard also has bead-like eyes so they can close them to keep sand out of their eyes. Similarly its nostrils are very small to keep all of the sand out of its nose and lungs.
X-ray imaging  has demonstrated that the lizard swims within sand using an undulatory gait with its limbs tucked against its sides rather than use its limbs as paddles  to propel itself forward.
Northern Africa east into Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. The animal is found in the Omani deserts.
The Sandfish is an insectivore. It can detect vibrations that insects in its vicinity create while moving.
These small reptiles are common among the US and UK pet stores. This species is very simple to care for.
1. ^ Fountain, Henry (2009-07-21). "A Saharan Lizard Is a Sand Swimmer". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/science/21obsand.html?hpw. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
* Baumgartner et al.; Fidler, F; Weth, A; Habbecke, M; Jakob, P; Butenweg, C; Böhme, W; Rands, Sean (2008). "Investigating the Locomotion of the Sandfish in Desert Sand Using NMR-Imaging". PLOS One 3 (10): e3309. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003309. PMID 18836551. PMC 2561000. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003309.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License