Teiidae (tegus, whiptails; order Squamata, suborder Sauria) A family of lizards which differ from the Lacertidae in having head plates that are separate from the skull bones. The tongue is long and forked, the tail long, and the limbs may be large and powerful, or reduced (e.g. in snake and worm teiids). Tupinambis teguixin (common tegu or great tegu), occurring from Guiana to Uruguay, black with bands of yellow spots, is a large (up to 1.4 m long), long-tailed, squat-bodied, ground-dwelling lizard that shelters in burrows. There are more than 200 species. They are the New World counterparts of the Lacertidae.
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