Skinks are the most diverse group of lizards. They make up the family Scincidae which shares the superfamily or infraorder Scincomorpha with several other lizard families, including Lacertidae (the "true" or wall lizards). Scincidae is the largest of the lizard families with about 1,200 species.
Skinks look roughly like true lizards, but most species have no pronounced neck and relatively small legs. Several genera (e.g., Typhlosaurus) have no limbs at all, others, such as Neoseps, have only reduced limbs. Often, their way of moving resembles that of snakes more than that of other lizards. Skinks usually have long, tapering tails that can be shed and regenerated.
Most skinks are medium sized with a maximum length from the snout to the vent of some 12 cm, although there are a few that grow to larger sizes, such as the Corucia, which can reach 35 cm from snout to vent.
Skinks are generally carnivorous and largely eat insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars. They also eat spiders, earthworms, snails, slugs, isopods, other lizards, and small mice. Some species, particularly those favored as home pets, have a more varied diet and can be maintained on a regimen of roughly 60% vegetables/leaves/fruit and 40% meat and meat products (cat or dog food). 
Skinks occur worldwide. Some species are endangered.
Many species are good burrowers. There are more terrestrial or fossorial (burying) species than arboreal (tree-climbing) or aquatic species. Some are "sand swimmers", especially the desert species, such as the Mole skink in Florida. Most skinks are diurnal, so they are active during the day. They like to crawl out on rocks or logs to bask (soak up heat from the sun) during the day.
During the breeding season, some types of skink will exhibit orange or red markings to indicate sexual maturity. About 55% of the skinks are oviparous, that is, they lay eggs in small clutches. The other 45% are ovoviviparous, giving birth to living offspring.
Raccoons, red foxes, opossums, snakes and hawks all prey on skinks.
Many large genera, Mabuya for example, are still insufficiently studied, and systematics is at times controversial, see e.g. the taxonomy of the Western Skink (Eumeces skiltonianus).
- Genus Ablepharus
Genus Hemiergis: Earless Skinks (Australia)
Genus Lampropholis; (Common Garden Skink)
Genus Tiliqua; (Blue-tongued lizards)
Genus Trachydosaurus; the rugosus species is known as Shingle
- Description of Skinks at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.
- The Five-lined Skink
- The Lizards of Missouri
- Observations on Mating Behavior of the Solomon Island Skink