Tailbiter

The tailbiter is a rugged reptilian scavenger. An adult tailbiter weighs about 40 pounds, and it measures about 3 feet from nosetip to the end of its tail. Thick, overlapping scales protect its head, back, and tail. The scales closer to and on the tail sport sharp edges and blunt spikes. A tailbiter’s coloration varies depending on its environment. Tailbiters that live in forests, for example, tend toward dark greens and browns, whereas those that live in deserts are usually yellow-brown.

As mentioned, tailbiters are scavengers. They are not particularly aggressive, but they will lash out to when threatened or frightened. A tailbiter usually attacks with a tail strike. If a tailbiter has sufficient room to move before attacking, it might use the strange maneuver that gives the species its name. The reptile bites its tail, curls into something like a ball, and launches a rolling charge at a foe. While tumbling in this manner, the tailbiter uses its clawed feet to guide its movement.

Urbanization near tailbiter habitats can displace large numbers of tailbiters. Being scavengers, the reptiles have moved into urban areas looking for food and breeding spaces. In some cases, these urbanized tailbiters have become feral. Feral tailbiters can be dangerously aggressive, even predatory.

Tailbiter

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