Like most native New Zealand skinks, the chevron skink (Oligosoma homalonotum) gives birth to live young rather than laying eggs. This appears to be an adaptation to a cool climate. It is likely that around 16 million years ago, during the early Miocene period, New Zealand was warmer and had a more diverse reptile fauna. As temperatures cooled, life became more difficult for reptiles, and those that survived did so by adapting. Some researchers believe that skinks arrived about 25–35 million years ago, when most of New Zealand was submerged.
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Photograph by Mike Aviss
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