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a genus of lizards of the family Scincidae. The legs, especially the forelegs, are small and weak, and the digits may vary in number from five to one. The genus underwent two major changes in its evolutionary development: a reduction in the number and size of the digits and an elongation of the body, which acquired a more or less snakelike shape. The body may reach 50 cm in length; the tail constitutes approximately one-half of the body length.
The genus embraces 15 species, which are distributed in Southern Europe, Southwest Asia, and Africa. The animals live on dry rocky and sandy soils. The most common representatives are C. ocellatus and C. chalcides. The lizards are usually ovoviviparous; there are up to ten young per litter.