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Sample records for african lacertid lizards

  1. The usefulness of mesocosms for ecotoxicity testing with lacertid lizards

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    Maria José Amaral

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Mesocosms (i.e., outdoor, man-made representations of natural ecosystems have seldom been used to study the impact of contaminants on terrestrial ecosystems. However, mesocosms can be a useful tool to provide a link between field and laboratory studies. We exposed juvenile lacertid lizards for a period of over one year to pesticides (herbicides and insecticides in mesocosm enclosures with the intention of validating field observations obtained in a previous study that examined the effects of corn pesticides in Podarcis bocagei. Our treatments replicated field conditions and consisted of a control, an herbicides only treatment (alachlor, terbuthylazine, mesotrione and glyphosate and an herbicides and insecticide treatment (including chlorpyrifos. We used a multi-biomarker approach that examined parameters at an individual and sub-individual level, including growth, locomotor performance, standard metabolic rate, biomarkers of oxidative stress, esterases and liver histopathologies. Although mortality over the course of the exposures was high (over 60%, surviving individuals prospered relatively well in the mesocosms and displayed a broad range of natural behaviours. The low numbers of replicate animals compromised many of the statistical comparisons, but in general, surviving lizards exposed to pesticides in mesocosm enclosures for over one year, thrived, and displayed few effects of pesticide exposure. Despite the difficulties, this work acts as an important stepping-stone for future ecotoxicology studies using lizards.

  2. Cytogenetic and molecular characterization of lacertid lizard species from the Iberian Peninsula

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    Rojo Oróns, Verónica

    2016-01-01

    [Abstract] Reptiles, with their great diversity of sex-determining systems, have long been regarded as a model group for studying the evolution of sex determination and sex chromosomes. They also hold a key phylogenetic position to elucidate the organization and evolution of amniote genomes. This PhD thesis aims to contribute to this understanding by investigating sex chromosomes and karyotype evolution in lacertid lizards, with a focus on rock lizard species (genus Iberolac...

  3. Patterns of cranial ontogeny in lacertid lizards: morphological and allometric disparity.

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    Urošević, A; Ljubisavljević, K; Ivanović, A

    2013-02-01

    We explored the ontogenetic dynamics of the morphological and allometric disparity in the cranium shapes of twelve lacertid lizard species. The analysed species (Darevskia praticola, Dinarolacerta mosorensis, Iberolacerta horvathi, Lacerta agilis, L. trilineata, L. viridis, Podarcis erhardii, P. melisellensis, P. muralis, P. sicula, P. taurica and Zootoca vivipara) can be classified into different ecomorphs: terrestrial lizards that inhabit vegetated habitats (habitats with lush or sparse vegetation), saxicolous and shrub-climbing lizards. We observed that there was an overall increase in the morphological disparity (MD) during the ontogeny of the lacertid lizards. The ventral cranium, which is involved in the mechanics of jaw movement and feeding, showed higher levels of MD, an ontogenetic shift in the morphospace planes and more variable allometric patterns than more conserved dorsal crania. With respect to ecology, the allometric trajectories of the shrub-climbing species tended to cluster together, whereas the allometric trajectories of the saxicolous species were highly dispersed. Our results indicate that the ontogenetic patterns of morphological and allometric disparity in the lacertid lizards are modified by ecology and functional constraints and that the identical mechanisms that lead to intraspecific morphological variation also produce morphological divergence at higher taxonomic levels.

  4. A contibution to the knowledge of the trophic spectrum of three lacertid lizards from Bulgaria

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    Ivelin Mollov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A study on the trophic spectrum of three species of lacertid lizards (Lacerta agilis, Lacerta trilineata and Podarcis muralis was carried out, based on 20 specimens collected in the period 1967-1973 in various localities in Bulgaria. The analyzed data showed that the insects (Insecta are the most numerous and the most frequently met among the alimentary components of the total amount of food of the studied stomachs (except for Lacerta agilis, where spiders are slightly predominating. The non-insect components consisted spiders and isopods. The largest niche breadth was recorded in Lacerta trilineata (8.25, followed by Podarcis muralis (5.20 and Lacerta agilis (3.44. The niche overlap between the three species (pair-wise comparison showed medium values and in our opinion there should not be any serious competition for food resources at the places withsympatric distribution.

  5. Ultraviolet vision in lacertid lizards: evidence from retinal structure, eye transmittance, SWS1 visual pigment genes and behaviour.

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    Pérez i de Lanuza, Guillem; Font, Enrique

    2014-08-15

    Ultraviolet (UV) vision and UV colour patches have been reported in a wide range of taxa and are increasingly appreciated as an integral part of vertebrate visual perception and communication systems. Previous studies with Lacertidae, a lizard family with diverse and complex coloration, have revealed the existence of UV-reflecting patches that may function as social signals. However, confirmation of the signalling role of UV coloration requires demonstrating that the lizards are capable of vision in the UV waveband. Here we use a multidisciplinary approach to characterize the visual sensitivity of a diverse sample of lacertid species. Spectral transmission measurements of the ocular media show that wavelengths down to 300 nm are transmitted in all the species sampled. Four retinal oil droplet types can be identified in the lacertid retina. Two types are pigmented and two are colourless. Fluorescence microscopy reveals that a type of colourless droplet is UV-transmitting and may thus be associated with UV-sensitive cones. DNA sequencing shows that lacertids have a functional SWS1 opsin, very similar at 13 critical sites to that in the presumed ancestral vertebrate (which was UV sensitive) and other UV-sensitive lizards. Finally, males of Podarcis muralis are capable of discriminating between two views of the same stimulus that differ only in the presence/absence of UV radiance. Taken together, these results provide convergent evidence of UV vision in lacertids, very likely by means of an independent photopigment. Moreover, the presence of four oil droplet types suggests that lacertids have a four-cone colour vision system.

  6. The importance of ultraviolet and near-infrared sensitivity for visual discrimination in two species of lacertid lizards.

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    Martin, Mélissa; Le Galliard, Jean-François; Meylan, Sandrine; Loew, Ellis R

    2015-02-01

    Male and female Lacertid lizards often display conspicuous coloration that is involved in intraspecific communication. However, visual systems of Lacertidae have rarely been studied and the spectral sensitivity of their retinal photoreceptors remains unknown. Here, we characterise the spectral sensitivity of two Lacertid species from contrasting habitats: the wall lizard Podarcis muralis and the common lizard Zootoca vivipara. Both species possess a pure-cone retina with one spectral class of double cones and four spectral classes of single cones. The two species differ in the spectral sensitivity of the LWS cones, the relative abundance of UVS single cones (potentially more abundant in Z. vivipara) and the coloration of oil droplets. Wall lizards have pure vitamin A1-based photopigments, whereas common lizards possess mixed vitamin A1 and A2 photopigments, extending spectral sensitivity into the near infrared, which is a rare feature in terrestrial vertebrates. We found that spectral sensitivity in the UV and near infrared improves discrimination of small variations in throat coloration among Z. vivipara. Thus, retinal specialisations optimise chromatic resolution in common lizards, indicating that the visual system and visual signals might co-evolve.

  7. The use of a lacertid lizard as a model for reptile ecotoxicology studies: part 2--biomarkers of exposure and toxicity among pesticide exposed lizards.

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    Amaral, Maria José; Bicho, Rita C; Carretero, Miguel A; Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C; Faustino, Augusto M R; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Mann, Reinier M

    2012-05-01

    As part of a wider study examining the impacts of corn pesticides on lacertid lizards in north-western Portugal, we examined various physiological, biochemical, and histological biomarkers of exposure and effect among field populations of Podarcis bocagei. Biomarkers included body condition index, standard metabolic rate, locomotor performance, parasitization, glutathione oxidative pathways and related enzyme activity, lipid peroxidation and liver and testis histology. Few of the various biomarkers investigated provided statistically significant evidence of toxic effect. However, using a weight of evidence approach, we conclude that pesticides are affecting lizards living in the vicinity of pesticide exposed corn agriculture sites. Lizards from these locations present a profile of animals under metabolic stress with reduced condition indices, increased standard metabolic rate, lower incidence of hepatocyte vacuolation, altered iron metabolism, increased activation of GSH oxidation pathways, and even increased prevalence of hemoparasites.

  8. The use of a lacertid lizard as a model for reptile ecotoxicology studies--part 1 field demographics and morphology.

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    Amaral, Maria José; Carretero, Miguel A; Bicho, Rita C; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Mann, Reinier M

    2012-05-01

    At the European level, lacertid lizards have been proposed as potential model species for reptile ecotoxicology. We studied demographic and morphological aspects of natural field subpopulations of Podarcis bocagei inhabiting similar agricultural habitats which were either regularly exposed to pesticides, or not. Parameters examined in this study included population size and density, sex ratio, adult body size, fluctuating asymmetry in femoral pores and parasite prevalence. In general, we detected few statistically significant differences between the exposed and reference subpopulations. Although field situations are ecologically complex and factors other than pesticides may be acting, the absence of observable effects on field subpopulations is probably indicative that lizards are coping or compensating for this level of exposure.

  9. Does diet in lacertid lizards reflect prey availability? Evidence for selective predation in the Aeolian wall lizard, Podarcis raffonei (Mertens, 1952 (Reptilia, Lacertidae

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    Pietro Lo Cascio

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper the invertebrate fauna occurring on Scoglio Faraglione, a tiny Aeolian island (AeolianArchipelago, NE Sicily inhabited by a population of the critically endangered lacertid lizard Podarcis raffonei(Mertens, 1952, was censused at different seasons and the resulting data were then compared with dataobtained analysing prey composition and prey abundance in the diet of the lizards occurring on the same islet.The diet of Podarcis raffonei was mainly based on insects and other arthropods. The results indicate that dietcomposition is not directly influenced by prey availability and temporal prey abundance, and that there isstrong evidence indicating selective predation. Lizards prey upon a number of arthropod categories fewer thanthat recorded in field. Some invertebrate taxa (e.g. Diptera and Gastropoda are really less attractive for lizardsand are rarely preyed or not preyed at all despite their spatial and/or temporal abundance. This suggests thatPodarcis raffonei is able to operate a hierarchical choice within the range of prey items constituting its preyspectrum, probably through the ability to discriminate between prey chemicals or visually oriented predation.

  10. Seasonal patterns of body temperature and microhabitat selection in a lacertid lizard

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    Ortega, Zaida; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-11-01

    In temperate areas, seasonal changes entail a source of environmental variation potentially important for organisms. Temperate ectotherms may be adapted to the seasonal fluctuations in environmental traits. For lizards, behavioural adaptations regarding microhabitat selection could arise to improve thermoregulation during the different seasons. However, little is still known about which traits influence microhabitat selection of lizards and their adaptation to seasonality. Here we used Podarcis guadarramae to study the role of potential intrinsic (body size, sex, age) and environmental traits (air and substrate temperatures, wind speed, and sunlight) in the seasonal changes of body temperatures and microhabitat selection of lizards. We measured body temperatures of lizards in the same habitat during the four seasons and compared the climatic variables of the microhabitats selected by lizards with the mean climatic conditions available in their habitat. Body temperatures were similar for adult males, adult females, and juveniles within each season, being significantly higher in summer than in the other seasons, and in spring than in winter. The same pattern was found regarding substrate and air temperatures of the selected microhabitats. Wind speed and air temperature did not affect body temperatures, while body length was marginally significant and substrate temperatures and season did affect the body temperatures of lizards. Our results during the whole year support the idea that the seasonality could be the most important factor affecting body temperatures of these temperate species. Regarding microhabitat selection, environmental constraints, as environmental temperatures and wind speed, affected the seasonal changes on behavioural thermoregulation of lizards. This effect was similar between sexes and age classes, and was independent of body size. In addition, importance of sunlight exposure of the selected microhabitats (full sun, filtered sun, or shade) also

  11. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia)

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    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  12. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia.

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    Leonóra Szirovicza

    Full Text Available Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni, nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus, and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi, respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses.

  13. Identification of the linkage group of the Z sex chromosomes of the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis, Lacertidae) and elucidation of karyotype evolution in lacertid lizards.

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    Srikulnath, Kornsorn; Matsubara, Kazumi; Uno, Yoshinobu; Nishida, Chizuko; Olsson, Mats; Matsuda, Yoichi

    2014-12-01

    The sand lizard (Lacerta agilis, Lacertidae) has a chromosome number of 2n = 38, with 17 pairs of acrocentric chromosomes, one pair of microchromosomes, a large acrocentric Z chromosome, and a micro-W chromosome. To investigate the process of karyotype evolution in L. agilis, we performed chromosome banding and fluorescent in situ hybridization for gene mapping and constructed a cytogenetic map with 86 functional genes. Chromosome banding revealed that the Z chromosome is the fifth largest chromosome. The cytogenetic map revealed homology of the L. agilis Z chromosome with chicken chromosomes 6 and 9. Comparison of the L. agilis cytogenetic map with those of four Toxicofera species with many microchromosomes (Elaphe quadrivirgata, Varanus salvator macromaculatus, Leiolepis reevesii rubritaeniata, and Anolis carolinensis) showed highly conserved linkage homology of L. agilis chromosomes (LAG) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5(Z), 7, 8, 9, and 10 with macrochromosomes and/or macrochromosome segments of the four Toxicofera species. Most of the genes located on the microchromosomes of Toxicofera were localized to LAG6, small acrocentric chromosomes (LAG11-18), and a microchromosome (LAG19) in L. agilis. These results suggest that the L. agilis karyotype resulted from frequent fusions of microchromosomes, which occurred in the ancestral karyotype of Toxicofera and led to the disappearance of microchromosomes and the appearance of many small macrochromosomes.

  14. Evolution of placental specializations in viviparous African and South American lizards.

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    Flemming, Alexander F; Blackburn, Daniel G

    2003-09-01

    Phylogenetic information offers an important resource in analyses of reproductive diversity, including interpretations of fetal membrane evolution. In this paper, we draw upon ongoing studies of South American and African lizards to consider the value of combining phylogenetic and reproductive evidence in the construction of evolutionary interpretations. South American lizards of the genus Mabuya exhibit several reproductive specializations that are convergent on those of eutherian mammals, including viviparity, long gestation periods, ovulation of tiny eggs, and placental supply of the nutrients for development. Studies of placental morphology and development indicate that New World Mabuya share several other derived features, including chorionic areolae and a "Type IV" epitheliochorial placenta with a villous, mesometrial placentome. Some characteristics of these lizards are shared by two African skinks, M. ivensii and Eumecia anchietae, including minuscule eggs, placentotrophy, an absorptive chorioallantois, and features of the yolk sac. Available evidence is consistent with two explanations: (1) placentotrophy originated in Africa, predating a trans-Atlantic colonization by Mabuya of the New World; and (2) placentotrophy arose two or three separate times among these closely related skinks. As illustrated by analysis of these animals, not only can data on fetal membrane morphology yield phylogenetic information, but phylogenetic evidence in turn provides a valuable way to reconstruct the evolution of fetal membranes in a biogeographic context. When appropriately interpreted, morphological and phylogenetic evidence can be combined to yield robust evolutionary conclusions that avoid the pitfalls of circular reasoning.

  15. Historical colonization and dispersal limitation supplement climate and topography in shaping species richness of African lizards (Reptilia: Agaminae)

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    Daniel Kissling, W.; Anne Blach-Overgaard; Zwaan, Roelof E.; Philipp Wagner

    2016-01-01

    To what extent deep-time dispersal limitation shapes present-day biodiversity at broad spatial scales remains elusive. Here, we compiled a continental dataset on the distributions of African lizard species in the reptile subfamily Agaminae (a relatively young, Neogene radiation of agamid lizards which ancestors colonized Africa from the Arabian peninsula) and tested to what extent historical colonization and dispersal limitation (i.e. accessibility from areas of geographic origin) can explain...

  16. Phylogenetic relationships and limb loss in sub-Saharan African scincine lizards (Squamata: Scincidae).

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    Whiting, Alison S; Bauer, Aaron M; Sites, Jack W

    2003-12-01

    Skinks are the largest family of lizards and are found worldwide in a diversity of habitats. One of the larger and more poorly studied groups of skinks includes members of the subfamily Scincinae distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan African scincines are one of the many groups of lizards that show limb reduction and loss, and the genus Scelotes offers an excellent opportunity to look at limb loss in a phylogenetic context. Phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed for a total of 52 taxa representing all subfamilies of skinks as well as other Autarchoglossan families using sequence from six gene regions including; 12S, 16S, and cytochrome b (mitochondrial), as well as alpha-Enolase, 18S, and C-mos (nuclear). The family Scincidae is recovered as monophyletic and is the sister taxon to a (Cordylidae+Xantusiidae) clade. Within skinks the subfamily Acontinae is monophyletic and sister group to all remaining skinks. There is no support for the monophyly of the subfamilies Lygosominae and Scincinae, but sub-Saharan African scincines+Feylinia form a well supported monophyletic group. The monophyly of Scelotes is confirmed, and support is found for two geographic groups within the genus. Reconstructions of ancestral states for limb and digital characters show limited support for the reversal or gain of both digits and limbs, but conservative interpretation of the results suggest that limb loss is common, occurring multiple times throughout evolutionary history, and is most likely not reversible.

  17. Variation in skull size and shape of the Common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis): allometric and non-allometric shape changes

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    Urošević, A.; Ljubisavljević, K.; Ivanović, A.

    2014-01-01

    We analysed patterns of skull size and shape variation among populations of the Common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) in the Central Balkans, particularly the effecs of insularity and the presence of the ecologically similar lacertid lizard species P. melisellensis. Two components of shape variation

  18. Eocene lizard from Germany reveals amphisbaenian origins.

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    Müller, Johannes; Hipsley, Christy A; Head, Jason J; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Hilger, André; Wuttke, Michael; Reisz, Robert R

    2011-05-19

    Amphisbaenia is a speciose clade of fossorial lizards characterized by a snake-like body and a strongly reinforced skull adapted for head-first burrowing. The evolutionary origins of amphisbaenians are controversial, with molecular data uniting them with lacertids, a clade of Old World terrestrial lizards, whereas morphology supports a grouping with snakes and other limbless squamates. Reports of fossil stem amphisbaenians have been falsified, and no fossils have previously tested these competing phylogenetic hypotheses or shed light on ancestral amphisbaenian ecology. Here we report the discovery of a new lacertid-like lizard from the Eocene Messel locality of Germany that provides the first morphological evidence for lacertid-amphisbaenian monophyly on the basis of a reinforced, akinetic skull roof and braincase, supporting the view that body elongation and limblessness in amphisbaenians and snakes evolved independently. Morphometric analysis of body shape and ecology in squamates indicates that the postcranial anatomy of the new taxon is most consistent with opportunistically burrowing habits, which in combination with cranial reinforcement indicates that head-first burrowing evolved before body elongation and may have been a crucial first step in the evolution of amphisbaenian fossoriality.

  19. To move or not to move: cranial joints in European gekkotans and lacertids, an osteological and histological perspective.

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    Mezzasalma, Marcello; Maio, Nicola; Guarino, Fabio Maria

    2014-03-01

    Lepidosaurs are frequently described as having highly kinetic skulls, and different forms of cranial kinesis have been described as being characteristic of their radiation. The model of amphikinesis proposed by Frazzetta, J Morphol 1962; 111:287-319, which was long considered a synapomorphy of the large suborder Sauria, is now much debated given its uncertain distribution among the various lizard taxa and the lack of data about its morphological correlates. In this article, we analyze the anatomical correlates of different forms of cranial kinesis, with particular regard to the putative saurian amphikinesis, describing the possible diverse skull movements of several species of European gekkotans (Hemidactylus turcicus, Mediodactylus kotschyi, and Tarentola mauritanica) and lacertids (Lacerta agilis, L. bilineata, Podarcis muralis, P. siculus, and Teira dugesii). Using serial and whole-mount histology, we found clear differences between gekkotans and lacertids in the structure of several cranial joints underlining the existence of two degrees of intracranial mobility. The lacertid species possess the anatomical features for streptostyly (quadrate joints) and metakinesis (parietal-supraoccipital and parabasisphenoid-pterygoid joints) and lack the anatomical correlates for mesokinesis (mobility of frontal-parietal and palatine-pterygoid joints) and amphikinesis (coupled mesokinesis, metakinesis, and streptostyly). In contrast, geckos present all the anatomical correlates for amphikinesis as described by the traditional quadratic crank model. Finally, we present a comprehensive summary of the different forms of squamate cranial kinesis, advancing two alternative hypotheses about the evolutionary origin of amphikinesis.

  20. Historical colonization and dispersal limitation supplement climate and topography in shaping species richness of African lizards (Reptilia: Agaminae).

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    Kissling, W Daniel; Blach-Overgaard, Anne; Zwaan, Roelof E; Wagner, Philipp

    2016-09-27

    To what extent deep-time dispersal limitation shapes present-day biodiversity at broad spatial scales remains elusive. Here, we compiled a continental dataset on the distributions of African lizard species in the reptile subfamily Agaminae (a relatively young, Neogene radiation of agamid lizards which ancestors colonized Africa from the Arabian peninsula) and tested to what extent historical colonization and dispersal limitation (i.e. accessibility from areas of geographic origin) can explain present-day species richness relative to current climate, topography, and climate change since the late Miocene (~10 mya), the Pliocene (~3 mya), and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 0.021 mya). Spatial and non-spatial multi-predictor regression models revealed that time-limited dispersal via arid corridors is a key predictor to explain macro-scale patterns of species richness. In addition, current precipitation seasonality, current temperature of the warmest month, paleo-temperature changes since the LGM and late Miocene, and topographic relief emerged as important drivers. These results suggest that deep-time dispersal constraints - in addition to climate and mountain building - strongly shape current species richness of Africa's arid-adapted taxa. Such historical dispersal limitation might indicate that natural movement rates of species are too slow to respond to rates of ongoing and projected future climate and land use change.

  1. Phylogeny of North African Agama lizards (Reptilia: Agamidae) and the role of the Sahara desert in vertebrate speciation.

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    Gonçalves, Duarte V; Brito, José C; Crochet, Pierre-André; Geniez, Philippe; Padial, José M; Harris, D James

    2012-09-01

    The origin of Saharan biodiversity is poorly understood, in part because the geological and paleoclimatic events that presumably shaped species diversity are still controversial, but also because few studies have explored causal explanations for the origin of Saharan diversity using a phylogenetic framework. Here, we use mtDNA (16S and ND4 genes) and nDNA (MC1R and CMOS genes) to infer the relationships and biogeographic history of North African agamas (genus Agama). Agamas are conspicuous, diverse and abundant African lizards that also occur in the Saharan xeric and mesic environments. Our results revealed the presence of three Agama lineages in North Africa: one Afrotropical, one Sahelo-Saharan, and one broadly distributed in North Africa and mainly Saharan. Southern Mauritania contains the highest known diversity, with all three lineages present. Results suggest that agamas colonized the Sahara twice, but only one lineage was able to radiate and diversify there. Species in the Saharan lineage are mostly allopatric, and their splitting, genetic diversity and distribution are greatly explained by mountain ranges. One species in this lineage has colonized the Mediterranean climatic zone (A. impalearis), and another one the Sahel savannah (A. boueti). The other lineage to colonize the Sahara corresponds to A. boulengeri, an eminently Sahelian species that also inhabits Saharan mountain ranges in Mauritania and Mali. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that allopatric montane populations within some currently recognized species are also genetically divergent. Our study therefore concludes that vicariant speciation is a leading motor of species diversification in the area: Inside the Sahara, associated to mountain-ranges isolated by dune seas and bare plains; outside, associated to less harsh climates to the North and South. Paleoclimatic oscillations are suggested as causal explanations of the vicariant distribution and origin of species. Agamas are thought to have

  2. Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards

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    Diego-Rasilla, Francisco J.; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Pérez-Cembranos, Ana

    2017-04-01

    Several species of vertebrates exhibit spontaneous longitudinal body axis alignment relative to the Earth's magnetic field (i.e., magnetic alignment) while they are performing different behavioural tasks. Since magnetoreception is still not fully understood, studying magnetic alignment provides evidence for magnetoreception and broadens current knowledge of magnetic sense in animals. Furthermore, magnetic alignment widens the roles of magnetic sensitivity in animals and may contribute to shed new light on magnetoreception. In this context, spontaneous alignment in two species of lacertid lizards ( Podarcis muralis and Podarcis lilfordi) during basking periods was monitored. Alignments in 255 P. muralis and 456 P. lilfordi were measured over a 5-year period. The possible influence of the sun's position (i.e., altitude and azimuth) and geomagnetic field values corresponding to the moment in which a particular lizard was observed on lizards' body axis orientation was evaluated. Both species exhibited a highly significant bimodal orientation along the north-northeast and south-southwest magnetic axis. The evidence from this study suggests that free-living lacertid lizards exhibit magnetic alignment behaviour, since their body alignments cannot be explained by an effect of the sun's position. On the contrary, lizard orientations were significantly correlated with geomagnetic field values at the time of each observation. We suggest that this behaviour might provide lizards with a constant directional reference while they are sun basking. This directional reference might improve their mental map of space to accomplish efficient escape behaviour. This study is the first to provide spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living reptiles.

  3. Comparative ecophysiology of two sympatric lizards. Laying the groundwork for mechanistic distribution models

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    Enrique García-Muñoz

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Distribution modelling usually makes inferences correlating species presence and environmental variables but does not take biotic relations into account. Alternative approaches based on a mechanistic understanding of biological processes are now being applied. Regarding lacertid lizards, physiological traits such as preferred body temperature (Tp are well known to correlate with several physiological optima. Much less is known about their water ecology although body temperature and evaporative water loss (Wl may trade-off. Two saxicolous lacertids, Algyroides marchi and Podarcis hispanica ss are sympatric in the Subbetic Mountains (SE Spain were they can be found in syntopy. Previous distribution modelling indicates the first species is associated with mountains, low temperatures; high precipitation and forest cover whereas the second one is more generalistic. Here, we perform two ecophysiological tests with both species: a Tp experiment in thermal gradient and a Wl experiment in sealed chambers. Although both species attained similar body temperatures, A. marchi lost more water and more uniformly in time than P. hispanica ss that displayed an apparent response to dehydration. These results suggest that water loss rather temperature is crucial to explain the distribution patterns of A. marchi in relation to P. hispanica ss, the former risking dehydration in dry areas no matter what temperature is. Ecophysiological traits represent a promising tool to build future mechanistic models for (lacertid lizards. Additionally, the implications for their biogeography and conservation are discussed.

  4. Redescription of some Spauligodon spp. and Parapharyngodon spp., and of skrjabinodon mabuyae (Sandground, 1936) inglis, 1968 (Pharyngodonidae: Oxyuroidea) from insectivorous South African lizards.

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    Hering-Hagenbeck, S F B N; Petter, A J; Boomker, J

    2002-03-01

    As part of a study on the helminth parasites of South African lizards several species of saurians were collected from localities in the North West Province, the Northern Province, Mpumalanga Province and Gauteng Province. Spauligodon blydeensis (Hering-Hagenbeck, 2001) from the Cape thick-toed gecko, Pachydactylus capensis, Spauligodon molpoensis (Hering-Hagenbeck, 2001) from Wahlberg's velvet gecko, Homopholis wahibergii, Parapharyngodon margaritiferi, Hering-Hagenbeck, 2001 from the skink, Mabuya margaritifer, Parapharyngodon gerrhosauri, Hering-Hagenbeck, 2001 from the plated lizard, Gerrhosaurus flavigularis and Skrjabinodon mabuyae (Sandground, 1936) Inglis, 1968 from the skinks Mabuya punctatissima, Mabuya spilogaster and Mabuya varia are redescribed. The different Spauligodon spp. in the subcontnent may be separated on the presence or absence of spicules in the males, the presence or absence of spines on the tail of both the males and females, as well as on the size and shape of the eggs, and the configuration of the polar caps. The Parapharyngodon spp. are distinguished mainly by the morphological characters of the males, such as the width of the caudal alae and the size of the pre- and adanal papillae. Female Parapharyngodon spp. closely resemble each other and some could not be identified to the species level since males were absent. Spinose larvae, together with adult Parapharyngodon spp. were recovered from Mabuya margaritifer. All Parapharyngodon spp. larvae described to date are spinose and since the larvae in this study were collected together with adult Parapharyngodon spp., we consider them to belong to the same genus. Skrjabinodon mabuyae differs from the closely related Skrjabinodon mabuiensis in the presence of a spicule in the male and lateral alae in the female. The former nematode is described for the first time from skinks in South Africa.

  5. From lizard body form to serpentiform morphology: The atlas-axis complex in African cordyliformes and their relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čerňanský, Andrej

    2016-04-01

    The comparative vertebral morphology of the atlas-axis complex in cordyliforms, xantusiid and several skinks is studied here. These lizards are particularly interesting because of their different ecological adaptations and anti-predation strategies, where conformation ranges from the lizard-like body to a snake-like body. This transition to serpentiform morphology shows several evolutionary patterns in the atlas-axis complex: 1) the zygapophyseal articulations are lost in the early stage of the transition. In contrast to mammals, the atlas is more or less locked to the axis in lepidosaurs, but the absence of zygapophyseal articulation releases this locking for rotation. However despite its serpentiform morphology, Chamaesaura is different, in possessing this articulation; 2) the first intercentrum of Chamaesaura and Tetradactylus africanus (serpentiform grass-swimmers) is fully curved anteriorly, underlying the occipital condyle. While this limits ventral skull rotation beyond a certain angle, it locks the skull, which is a crucial adaptation for a sit-and-wait position in grassland habitats that needs to keep the head stabilized; and 3) in Acontias, most of the atlas articular surface with the occipital condyle is formed by the lateral aspect of the articulation area relative to the area located in the dorsal region of the slightly reduced intercentrum. A similar state occurs in amphisbaenians, most likely reflecting a fossorial lifestyle of the limbless lizards. Although Chamaesaura and Tetradactylus live sympatrically in grasslands, Chamaesaura differs in several ways in atlas-axis complex: for example, aforementioned presence of the atlas-axis zygapophyseal articulation, and long posterodorsal processes. Its occipital condyle protrudes further posteriorly, placing the atlas-axis complex further from the endocranium than in Tetradactylus. Hence, adaptation in the same niche, even among sister clades, can lead to different atlas-axis morphology due to different

  6. Thyroid disruption in the lizard Podarcis bocagei exposed to a mixture of herbicides: a field study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bicho, Rita C; Amaral, Maria José; Faustino, Augusto M R; Power, Deborah M; Rêma, Alexandra; Carretero, Miguel A; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Mann, Reinier M

    2013-01-01

    Pesticide exposure has been related with thyroid disrupting effects in different vertebrate species. However, very little is known about the effects of these compounds in reptiles. In the Mediterranean area, lacertid lizards are the most abundant vertebrate group in agroecosystems, and have been identified as potential model species for reptile ecotoxicology. The aim of this study was to understand if the herbicides applied in corn fields have thyroid disruptive effects in the lizard Podarcis bocagei. Adult male lizards were captured in north-western Portugal in corn fields treated with herbicides (exposed sites), and in organic agricultural fields (reference sites). Thyroid and male gonad morphology and functionality, and testosterone levels were investigated through histological, immunohistochemical and biochemical techniques. Lizards from exposed locations displayed thyroid follicular lumens with more reabsorption vacuoles and significantly larger follicular area than those from reference fields. Furthermore, testes of lizards from exposed locations had significantly larger seminiferous tubule diameters, significantly higher number of spermatogenic layers and displayed an up-regulation of thyroid hormone receptors when compared with lizards from reference areas. These findings strongly suggest that the complex mixture of herbicides that lizards are exposed to in agricultural areas have thyroid disrupting effects which ultimately affect the male reproductive system. Alachlor, which has demonstrated thyroid effects in mammals, may be largely responsible for the observed effects.

  7. Non-equilibrium estimates of gene flow inferred from nuclear genealogies suggest that Iberian and North African wall lizards (Podarcis spp. are an assemblage of incipient species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harris D James

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The study of recently-diverged species offers significant challenges both in the definition of evolutionary entities and in the estimation of gene flow among them. Iberian and North African wall lizards (Podarcis constitute a cryptic species complex for which previous assessments of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA and allozyme variation are concordant in describing the existence of several highly differentiated evolutionary units. However, these studies report important differences suggesting the occurrence of gene flow among forms. Here we study sequence variation in two nuclear introns, β-fibint7 and 6-Pgdint7, to further investigate overall evolutionary dynamics and test hypotheses related to species delimitation within this complex. Results Both nuclear gene genealogies fail to define species as monophyletic. To discriminate between the effects of incomplete lineage sorting and gene flow in setting this pattern, we estimated migration rates among species using both FST-based estimators of gene flow, which assume migration-drift equilibrium, and a coalescent approach based on a model of divergence with gene flow. Equilibrium estimates of gene flow suggest widespread introgression between species, but coalescent estimates describe virtually zero admixture between most (but not all species pairs. This suggests that although gene flow among forms may have occurred the main cause for species polyphyly is incomplete lineage sorting, implying that most forms have been isolated since their divergence. This observation is therefore in accordance with previous reports of strong differentiation based on mtDNA and allozyme data. Conclusion These results corroborate most forms of Iberian and North African Podarcis as differentiated, although incipient, species, supporting a gradual view of speciation, according to which species may persist as distinct despite some permeability to genetic exchange and without having clearly definable genetic

  8. The intestinal helminth community of the spiny-tailed lizard Darevskia rudis (Squamata, Lacertidae) from northern Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roca, V; Jorge, F; Ilgaz, Ç; Kumlutaş, Y; Durmuş, S H; Carretero, M A

    2016-03-01

    Populations of the lizard Darevskia rudis (Bedriaga, 1886) from northern Anatolia were examined for intestinal parasites in adult specimens. One cestode, Nematotaenia tarentolae López-Neyra, 1944 and four nematode species, Spauligodon saxicolae Sharpilo, 1962, Skrjabinelazia hoffmanni Li, 1934, Oswaldocruzia filiformis (Goeze, 1782) and Strongyloides darevskyi Sharpilo, 1976, were found. Three of these nematodes, S. saxicolae, S. hoffmanni and S. darevskyi are suggested to be part of a module in the network of Darevskia spp. and their parasites. Only one, S. darevskyi, was identified as a Darevskia spp. specialist. The very low infection and diversity parameters are indicative of the depauperate helminth communities found in this lacertid lizard, falling among the lowest within the Palaearctic saurians. Nevertheless these values are higher than those found in parthenogenetic Darevskia spp. Interpopulation variation in the intensity of S. saxicolae and N. tarentolae is attributable to local changes in ecological conditions. On the other hand, parasite abundance and richness increased in the warmer localities, while the effect of lizard sex and size on infection was negligible. The structure of these helminth communities in D. rudis are compared with those observed in other European lacertid lizards.

  9. The evolution of colour pattern complexity: selection for conspicuousness favours contrasting within-body colour combinations in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez I de Lanuza, G; Font, E

    2016-05-01

    Many animals display complex colour patterns that comprise several adjacent, often contrasting colour patches. Combining patches of complementary colours increases the overall conspicuousness of the complex pattern, enhancing signal detection. Therefore, selection for conspicuousness may act not only on the design of single colour patches, but also on their combination. Contrasting long- and short-wavelength colour patches are located on the ventral and lateral surfaces of many lacertid lizards. As the combination of long- and short-wavelength-based colours generates local chromatic contrast, we hypothesized that selection may favour the co-occurrence of lateral and ventral contrasting patches, resulting in complex colour patterns that maximize the overall conspicuousness of the signal. To test this hypothesis, we performed a comparative phylogenetic study using a categorical colour classification based on spectral data and descriptive information on lacertid coloration collected from the literature. Our results demonstrate that conspicuous ventral (long-wavelength-based) and lateral (short-wavelength-based) colour patches co-occur throughout the lacertid phylogeny more often than expected by chance, especially in the subfamily Lacertini. These results suggest that selection promotes the evolution of the complex pattern rather than the acquisition of a single conspicuous colour patch, possibly due to the increased conspicuousness caused by the combination of colours with contrasting spectral properties.

  10. Nomenclature of Vertebral Laminae in Lizards, with Comments on Ontogenetic and Serial Variation in Lacertini (Squamata, Lacertidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel Tschopp

    Full Text Available Vertebral laminae are bony ridges or sheets that connect important morphological landmarks on the vertebrae, like diapophyses or zygapophyses. They usually exhibit some serial variation throughout the column. A consistent terminology facilitates the morphological description of this variation, and the recognition of patterns that could be taxonomically significant and could serve as phylogenetic characters. Such a terminology was designed for saurischian dinosaurs, and has also been applied to other members of Archosauriformes. Herein, this terminology is applied for the first time to lizards (Squamata. Probably due to their generally smaller size compared to saurischian dinosaurs, lizards have less developed vertebral laminae. Some laminae could not be recognized in this group and others require new names to account for differences in basic vertebral morphology. For instance, the fusion of diapophysis and parapophysis in lacertids into a structure called synapophysis necessitates the creation of the new term synapophyseal laminae for both diapophyseal and parapophyseal laminae. An assessment of occurrence and serial variation in a number of lacertid species shows that some laminae develop throughout ontogeny or only occur in large-sized species, whereas the distribution of other laminae might prove to be taxonomically significant in future.

  11. Escape by the Balearic Lizard (Podarcis lilfordi is affected by elevation of an approaching predator, but not by some other potential predation risk factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William E. Cooper

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Many predation risk factors to affect escape behavior by lizards, but effects of some potential risk factors are unknown or are variable among species. We studied effects of several risk factors on escape responses by the Balearic lizard (Podarcis lilfordi, Lacertidae on escape responses. Escape was elicited by an approaching experimenter who recorded flight initiation distance (predator-prey distance when escape begins and distance fled. When an experimenter approached from above (upslope, flight initiation distance and distance fled were longer than when the experimenter approached from below. This novel effect suggests that lizards exposed to aerial predation might have been naturally selected to respond rapidly to predators approaching from above or that effects of path inclination of escape ability may differ between predators and prey in a manner requiring a larger margin of safety during approaches from above than below. Although sex differences in aspects of escape occur in some lizards, including lacertids, no sex difference was observed in P. lilfordi. Because vigilance and some other aspects of antipredatory behavior exhibit cortical lateralization, we tested effects of approach from the left and right sides of lizards. As predicted by optimal escape theory, side of approach did not affect flight initiation distance. Because many lizards have color vision and respond to pigmentation of conspecifics in social settings, researchers have often worn only drably colored clothing when simulating predators. This precaution may be unnecessary because flight initiation distance did not differ among investigator shirt colors (red, orange, olive.

  12. Auditory hair cell innervational patterns in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M R; Beck, J

    1988-05-22

    The pattern of afferent and efferent innervation of two to four unidirectional (UHC) and two to nine bidirectional (BHC) hair cells of five different types of lizard auditory papillae was determined by reconstruction of serial TEM sections. The species studies were Crotaphytus wislizeni (iguanid), Podarcis (Lacerta) sicula and P. muralis (lacertids), Ameiva ameiva (teiid), Coleonyx variegatus (gekkonid), and Mabuya multifasciata (scincid). The main object was to determine in which species and in which hair cell types the nerve fibers were innervating only one (exclusive innervation), or two or more hair cells (nonexclusive innervation); how many nerve fibers were supplying each hair cell; how many synapses were made by the innervating fibers; and the total number of synapses on each hair cell. In the species studies, efferent innervation was limited to the UHC, and except for the iguanid, C. wislizeni, it was nonexclusive, each fiber supplying two or more hair cells. Afferent innervation varied both with the species and the hair cell types. In Crotaphytus, both the UHC and the BHC were exclusively innervated. In Podarcis and Ameiva, the UHC were innervated exclusively by some fibers but nonexclusively by others (mixed pattern). In Coleonyx, the UHC were exclusively innervated but the BHC were nonexclusively innervated. In Mabuya, both the UHC and BHC were nonexclusively innervated. The number of afferent nerve fibers and the number of afferent synapses were always larger in the UHC than in the BHC. In Ameiva, Podarcis, and Mabuya, groups of bidirectionally oriented hair cells occur in regions of cytologically distinct UHC, and in Ameiva, unidirectionally oriented hair cells occur in cytologically distinct BHC regions.

  13. The castaway: characteristic islet features affect the ecology of the most isolated European lizard

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    Petros Lymberakis

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The ecological importance of islet endemics are in the front line of conservation efforts and thus the good knowledge of their biology is required. Podarcis levendis is a lacertid lizard, endemic to two rocky islets in the Cretan Sea, Greece, that was raised to specific level in 2008 and since then no data on its biology are available. Here we present the first ecological information on the species, focusing on population density, tail autotomy and feeding preferences. We recorded regenerated and damaged tails in the field and estimated population density with the transect method. We also dissected museum specimens and analyzed their stomach content. Regenerated tails were common and reached a considerable 71%. The latter finding could be attributed to the intense intraspecific competition due to high population density but also to the seasonal predation pressure by migratory birds. The diet of P. levendis coincides with that of other insular congenerics, including high percentages of plant material.

  14. Assessing the reliability of thermography to infer internal body temperatures of lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barroso, Frederico M; Carretero, Miguel A; Silva, Francisco; Sannolo, Marco

    2016-12-01

    For many years lizard thermal ecology studies have relied on the use of contact thermometry to obtain internal body temperature (Tb) of the animals. However, with progressing technology, an interest grew in using new, less invasive methods, such as InfraRed (IR) pyrometry and thermography, to infer Tb of reptiles. Nonetheless few studies have tested the reliability of these new tools. The present study tested the use of IR cameras as a non-invasive tool to infer Tb of lizards, using three differently body-sized lacertid species (Podarcis virescens, Lacerta schreiberi and Timon lepidus). Given the occurrence of regional heterothermy, we pairwise compared thermography readings of six body parts (snout, eye, head, dorsal, hind limb, tail base) to cloacal temperature (measured by a thermometer-associated thermocouple probe) commonly employed to measure Tb in field and lab studies. The results showed moderate to strong correlations (R(2)=0.84-0.99) between all body parts and cloacal temperature. However, despite the readings on the tail base showed the strongest correlation in all three species, it was the eye where the absolute values and pattern of temperature change most consistently followed the cloacal measurements. Hence, we concluded that the eye would be the body location whose IR camera readings more closely approximate that of the animal's internal environment. Alternatively, other body parts can be used, provided that a careful calibration is carried out. We provide guidelines for future research using thermography to infer Tb of lizards.

  15. New finds of lacertids (Sauria, Lacertidae from the Neogene of Slovakia and Czech Republic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Joniak

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper, first finds of fossil lacertids from the Neogene of Slovakia and new finds from Czech Republic are described. The material comes from three localities: Merkur - North (Czech Republic, Early Miocene, Borský Svätý Jur (Slovakia, Late Miocene and Ivanovce (Slovakia, Early Pliocene, and consists of several isolated dentaries, maxillae and one vertebra. According to the morphology, the find of dentary from the Ivanovce locality can be attributed to Lacerta cf. agilis. Except one vertebra, the rest of the material can be assigned to Lacerta sp. The fragment of the anterior portion of the dentary from the Upper Miocene sediments of Borský Svätý Jur represents the oldest known occurrence of this taxon in Slovakia. Thus, the material enhances our rather poor knowledge of the paleoherpetofauna from the Slovakian territory.

  16. Communication Signals in Lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Charles C.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses mechanisms and functional intent of visual communication signals in iguanid/agamid lizards. Demonstrated that lizards communicate with each other by using pushups and head nods and that each species does this in its own way, conveying different types of information. (JN)

  17. Climate-Related Variation in Body Dimensions within Four Lacertid Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav Volynchik

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A close relationship between habitat and external morphology is widespread among many animals, including reptiles. Here, I studied the relationship between abiotic environmental conditions and body size of four lacertid species (Phoenicolacerta laevis, Ophisops elegans, Acanthodactylus boskianus, and Mesalina guttulata occurring in Israel. I examined the effect of average annual temperature and average annual precipitation on body and limb dimensions, using linear statistical models. Temperature- and precipitation-related geographic clines in body size showed the same trend among all species. Females displayed stronger phenotypic response to temperature gradient than conspecific males, suggesting a sex-specific effect of natural selection. Snout-vent length (SVL was negatively correlated with temperature, supporting Bergmann’s rule in O. elegans and in female P. laevis and A. boskianus, but not in M. guttulata. Precipitation was positively related to SVL in O. elegans and M. guttulata, and in female P. laevis and A. boskianus. The relative extremity lengths, especially hind limb segments, generally increase towards hot and dry locations, following Allen’s rule. Among the Mediterranean region species (P. laevis, O. elegans the morphological-environmental link with temperature was stronger than in desert dwellers (A. boskianus, M. guttulata, for which precipitation was the major determinant of spatial variation.

  18. Sand swimming lizard: sandfish

    CERN Document Server

    Maladen, Ryan D; Kamor, Adam; Goldman, Daniel I

    2009-01-01

    We use high-speed x-ray imaging to reveal how a small (~10cm) desert dwelling lizard, the sandfish (Scincus scincus), swims within a granular medium [1]. On the surface, the lizard uses a standard diagonal gait, but once below the surface, the organism no longer uses limbs for propulsion. Instead it propagates a large amplitude single period sinusoidal traveling wave down its body and tail to propel itself at speeds up to ~1.5 body-length/sec. Motivated by these experiments we study a numerical model of the sandfish as it swims within a validated soft sphere Molecular Dynamics granular media simulation. We use this model as a tool to understand dynamics like flow fields and forces generated as the animal swims within the granular media. [1] Maladen, R.D. and Ding, Y. and Li, C. and Goldman, D.I., Undulatory Swimming in Sand: Subsurface Locomotion of the Sandfish Lizard, Science, 325, 314, 2009

  19. A Braitenberg Lizard:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shaikh, Danish; Hallam, John; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob;

    2009-01-01

    The peripheral auditory system of a lizard is structured as a pressure difference receiver with strong broadband directional sensitivity. Previous work has demonstrated that this system can be implemented as a set of digital filters generated by considering the lumped-parameter model of the audit......The peripheral auditory system of a lizard is structured as a pressure difference receiver with strong broadband directional sensitivity. Previous work has demonstrated that this system can be implemented as a set of digital filters generated by considering the lumped-parameter model...

  20. Trapper readies trap for lizard

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    State-licensed animal trapper James Dean sets the open door of an animal trap on KSC. He hopes to catch a large monitor lizard spotted recently near S.R. 3, a route into the Center, by several area residents. The lizard is not a native of the area, and possibly a released pet. Dean is working with the cooperation of KSC and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  1. Acoustical coupling of lizard eardrums

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Manley, Geoffrey A

    2008-01-01

    Lizard ears are clear examples of two-input pressure-difference receivers, with up to 40-dB differences in eardrum vibration amplitude in response to ipsi- and contralateral stimulus directions. The directionality is created by acoustical coupling of the eardrums and interaction of the direct...... and indirect sound components on the eardrum. The ensuing pressure-difference characteristics generate the highest directionality of any similar-sized terrestrial vertebrate ear. The aim of the present study was to measure the gain of the direct and indirect sound components in three lizard species: Anolis...... sagrei and Basiliscus vittatus (iguanids) and Hemidactylus frenatus (gekkonid) by laser vibrometry, using either free-field sound or a headphone and coupler for stimulation. The directivity of the ear of these lizards is pronounced in the frequency range from 2 to 5 kHz. The directivity is ovoidal...

  2. A structural colour ornament correlates positively with parasite load and body condition in an insular lizard species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megía-Palma, Rodrigo; Martínez, Javier; Merino, Santiago

    2016-08-01

    Pigment-based ornaments in vertebrates may reflect the body condition or health status of the individual in correlation with environmental stress and hormonal balance. Among the environmental factors shaping sexual colouration, parasitic infections have been stressed as an important evolutionary pressure constraining the maintenance of pigment-based ornaments. However, the honesty of structure-based ornaments in vertebrates is still under debate. Structural UV-biased ornaments in Gallotia lizards were described as a trait used by conspecifics during mate and rival assessment suggesting the reliability of these signals. We investigated the relationship between parasitaemia, body condition and a structural-based ornament present in the cheek of the sexually dichromatic Canarian lacertid Gallotia galloti in a population with an almost 100 % prevalence of haemoparasites. Using spectrophotometric techniques, we found that males with higher values of cheek UV chroma were infected with more haemoparasites. No significant relationship was found between haemoparasite load and body condition. However, males with higher cheek UV chroma showed significantly better body condition. In addition, we found that cheek hue was significantly related to body condition of individuals in both sexes. In males, cheek reflectivity biased towards the UV range was significantly related to better body condition. In females, those individuals with better body condition showed more whitish cheeks with less UV suggesting that cheek hue serves as an intersexual signal for sex recognition. We conclude that the positive relationship between cheek chroma and parasite load in male lizards is compatible with both differential density of melanin and iridophore arrangement in the dermis conveying an individual's ability to cope with environmental stress.

  3. Temperature, activity, and lizard life histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adolph, S C; Porter, W P

    1993-08-01

    Lizard life-history characteristics vary widely among species and populations. Most authors seek adaptive or phylogenetic explanations for life-history patterns, which are usually presumed to reflect genetic differences. However, lizard life histories are often phenotypically plastic, varying in response to temperature, food availability, and other environmental factors. Despite the importance of temperature to lizard ecology and physiology, its effects on life histories have received relatively little attention. We present a theoretical model predicting the proximate consequences of the thermal environment for lizard life histories. Temperature, by affecting activity times, can cause variation in annual survival rate and fecundity, leading to a negative correlation between survival rate and fecundity among populations in different thermal environments. Thus, physiological and evolutionary models predict the same qualitative pattern of life-history variation in lizards. We tested our model with published life-history data from field studies of the lizard Sceloporus undulatus, using climate and geographical data to reconstruct estimated annual activity seasons. Among populations, annual activity times were negatively correlated with annual survival rate and positively correlated with annual fecundity. Proximate effects of temperature may confound comparative analyses of lizard life-history variation and should be included in future evolutionary models.

  4. Lizard locomotion in heterogeneous granular media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiebel, Perrin; Goldman, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    Locomotion strategies in heterogeneous granular environments (common substrates in deserts), are relatively unexplored. The zebra-tailed lizard (C. draconoides) is a useful model organism for such studies owing to its exceptional ability to navigate a variety of desert habitats at impressive speed (up to 50 body-lengths per second) using both quadrapedal and bidepal gaits. In laboratory experiments, we challenge the lizards to run across a field of boulders (2.54 cm diameter glass spheres or 3.8 cm 3D printed spheres) placed in a lattice pattern and embedded in a loosely packed granular medium of 0.3 mm diameter glass particles. Locomotion kinematics of the lizard are recorded using high speed cameras, with and without the scatterers. The data reveals that unlike the lizard's typical quadrupedal locomotion using a diagonal gait, when scatterers are present the lizard is most successful when using a bipedal gait, with a raised center of mass (CoM). We propose that the kinematics of bipedal running in conjunction with the lizard's long toes and compliant hind foot are the keys to this lizard's successful locomotion in the presence of such obstacles. NSF PoLS

  5. Trappers set up trap for lizard

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    In hope of catching a large monitor lizard seen in the area, state-licensed animal trappers Dewey Kessler and James Dean (at left), with Gary Povitch (kneeling) of the U.S. Wildlife and Dan Turner (standing) set up a trap on KSC. The lizard has been spotted recently near S.R. 3, a route into the Center, by several area residents. Turner is a monitor expert. The lizard is not a native of the area, and possibly a released pet. Dean is working with the cooperation of KSC and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  6. Unique structural features facilitate lizard tail autotomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Danielsen, Carl Chr; Wogensen, Lise;

    2012-01-01

    Autotomy refers to the voluntary shedding of a body part; a renowned example is tail loss among lizards as a response to attempted predation. Although many aspects of lizard tail autotomy have been studied, the detailed morphology and mechanism remains unclear. In the present study, we showed...... that tail shedding by the Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) and the associated extracellular matrix (ECM) rupture were independent of proteolysis. Instead, lizard caudal autotomy relied on biological adhesion facilitated by surface microstructures. Results based on bio-imaging techniques demonstrated that the tail...

  7. Inhibin in the testis and adrenal gland of the male lacertid, Podarcis sicula Raf.: a light immunocytochemical study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Varano

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Inhibin is a glycoproteic hormone mostly produced by the gonads. Through a feedback at the pituitary level, it selectively inhibits the release of follicle-stimulating hormone. In mammals, inhibin has been found also in some extragonadal tissues such as placenta, pituitary, adrenal, spleen, kidney, brain and spinal cord. At present, no information is available about the existence of inhibin in reptiles. The aim of the present work is to localise, through immunocytochemical methods, the sites of inhibin production in male lizards during the main phases of the reproductive cycle: the culmination phase (April-June, the early regressive phase (early July, the maximal regressive phase (August and the winter stasis (January. In the testis, immunostaining is mainly localised in the Leydig cells during the early regressive phase, while it is observed in the Sertoli cells during the maximal regressive phase. In the epididymis, the immunostaining is present only during the reproductive period at the level of secreting cells and inside its ducts. In the adrenal gland, after immunostaining, both chromaffin and steroidogenetic tissues are inhibin-positive during the whole spermatogenetic cycle, though with variable intensity throughout the year: cross-reaction appears more evident from January to April (winter stasis and culmination phase and weaker in June. However, in captive animals, the reaction persists in chromaffin cells, but disappears in steroidogenetic cells. The functional meaning of the presence of inhibin as a factor in the local regulation of spermatogenesis is discussed.

  8. 不同经度地区北草蜥的喜好体温和热耐受性%Preferred body temperature and thermal tolerance of the northern grass lizard Takydromus septentrionalis from localities with different longitudes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杜卫国

    2006-01-01

    "Static" and "Labile" views of the evolution of thermal physiology in ectotherms have been debated for decades. The most powerful evidence to test the static and labile hypotheses should come from intra-specific studies on thermal physiology. To test these two hypotheses, I compared thermal environments and physiology of a Chinese lacertid lizard Takydromus septentrionalis from two populations with different longitudes. Corresponding to the higher ambient temperatures at the eastern coastal locality, the preferred body temperature of lizards from the coastal locality was higher than that of lizards from the inland locality. Unlike preferred body temperatures, critical thermal maximum (CTmax) and critical thermal minimum (CTmin) did not differ between lizards from the two localities. Although not all characteristics of thermal physiology in T.septentrionalis underwent parallel changes between the populations, the shift of preferred body temperatures as a result of acclimatization to local thermal environments is consistent with the predictions of the labile hypothesis. In addition, this study adds a case that the preferred body temperature of lizards may change along a longitudinal gradient[Acta Zoologica Sinica 52(3):478-482,2006].%在外温动物热生理特征的进化理论中,"静态"和"易变"是两个持续争论的对立观点.热生理学特征的种内变异是检验此类假设的最有力证据.本研究比较了不同经度地区北草蜥的热环境和热生理特征,以检验"静态"和"易变"假设.东部沿海地区(宁德)的环境温度高于内陆地区(贵阳),与之相适应,沿海地区北草蜥的喜好体温也高于内陆地区.然而,两地区蜥蜴的上临界温度和下临界温度无显著差异.尽管这些热生理学特征的种群间变异趋势并不一致,但是喜好温度随环境温度变化而改变的结果符合"易变"假设的预测.此外,本研究表明蜥蜴的喜好体温存在沿经度方向的地理变异[动物

  9. Comparing alignment methods for inferring the history of the new world lizard genus Mabuya (Squamata: Scincidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiting, Alison S; Sites, Jack W; Pellegrino, Katia C M; Rodrigues, Miguel T

    2006-03-01

    The rapid increase in the ability to generate molecular data, and the focus on model-based methods for tree reconstruction have greatly advanced the use of phylogenetics in many fields. The recent flurry of new analytical techniques has focused almost solely on tree reconstruction, whereas alignment issues have received far less attention. In this paper, we use a diverse sampling of gene regions from lizards of the genus Mabuya to compare the impact, on phylogeny estimation, of new maximum likelihood alignment algorithms with more widely used methods. Sequences aligned under different optimality criteria are analyzed using partitioned Bayesian analysis with independent models and parameter settings for each gene region, and the most strongly supported phylogenetic hypothesis is then used to test the hypothesis of two colonizations of the New World by African scincid lizards. Our results show that the consistent use of model-based methods in both alignment and tree reconstruction leads to trees with more optimal likelihood scores than the use of independent criteria in alignment and tree reconstruction. We corroborate and extend earlier evidence for two independent colonizations of South America by scincid lizards. Relationships within South American Mabuya are found to be in need of taxonomic revision, specifically complexes under the names M. heathi, M. agilis, and M. bistriata (sensu, M.T. Rodrigues, Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 41 (2000) 313).

  10. Cranial kinesis in gekkonid lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrel; De Vree F; Delheusy; Gans

    1999-12-01

    Cranial kinesis was studied in two species of gekkonid lizard, Gekko gecko and Phelsuma madagascariensis, using cineradiography and electromyography. The skull of these geckoes showed the three types of kinesis described by Versluys at the beginning of this century: streptostyly, mesokinesis and metakinesis. In accordance with the later model of Frazzetta, the skull of these animals can be modelled by a quadratic crank system: when the mouth opens during feeding, the quadrate rotates forward, the palato-maxillary unit is lifted and the occipital unit swings forward. During jaw closing, the inverse movements are observed; during crushing, the system is retracted beyond its resting position. The data gathered here indicate that the coupled kinesis (streptostyly + mesokinesis) is most prominently present during the capture and crushing cycles of feeding and is largely absent during late intraoral transport, swallowing, drinking and breathing. The electromyographic data indicate a consistent pattern of muscular activation, with the jaw opener and pterygoid protractor always active during the fast opening phase, and the jaw closers active during closing and crushing. Our data generally support the model of Frazzetta. Although the data gathered here do not allow speculation on the functional significance of the kinesis, they clearly provide some key elements required for a further investigation of the functional and adaptive basis of the system.

  11. Lizard-Skin Surface Texture

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1 The south polar region of Mars is covered seasonally with translucent carbon dioxide ice. In the spring gas subliming (evaporating) from the underside of the seasonal layer of ice bursts through weak spots, carrying dust from below with it, to form numerous dust fans aligned in the direction of the prevailing wind. The dust gets trapped in the shallow grooves on the surface, helping to define the small-scale structure of the surface. The surface texture is reminiscent of lizard skin (figure 1). Observation Geometry Image PSP_003730_0945 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on 14-May-2007. The complete image is centered at -85.2 degrees latitude, 181.5 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 248.5 km (155.3 miles). At this distance the image scale is 24.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects 75 cm across are resolved. The image shown here has been map-projected to 25 cm/pixel . The image was taken at a local Mars time of 06:04 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 69 degrees, thus the sun was about 21 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 237.5 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Autumn.

  12. Coupled ears in lizards and crocodilians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carr, Catherine E; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Bierman, Hilary

    2016-01-01

    Lizard ears are coupled across the pharynx, and are very directional. In consequence all auditory responses should be directional, without a requirement for computation of sound source location. Crocodilian ears are connected through sinuses, and thus less tightly coupled. Coupling may improve...... the processing of low-frequency directional signals, while higher frequency signals appear to be progressively uncoupled. In both lizards and crocodilians, the increased directionality of the coupled ears leads to an effectively larger head and larger physiological range of ITDs. This increased physiological...

  13. Plasma lipid concentrations for some Brazilian lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillett, M P; Lima, V L; Costa, J C; Sibrian, A M

    1979-01-01

    1. Plasma concentrations of cholesterol, cholesteryl esters, phospholipids and triglycerides were determined for ten species of Brazilian lizards, Iguana iguana, Tropidurus torquatos and T. semitaeniatus (Iguanidae), Tupinambis teguixin, Ameiva ameiva and Cnemidophorus ocellifer (Teiidae), Mabuya maculata (Scincidae), Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae), Amphisbaenia vermicularis and Leposternon polystegum (Amphisbaenidae). 2. Considerable inter- and intra-species variations in plasma lipid concentrations were observed. 3. The percentage of total cholesterol esterified and the individual phospholipid composition of plasma were relatively constant for each species. 4. Over 60% of the cholesteryl esters present in plasma from three species each of iguanid and teiid lizards were polyenoic.

  14. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, Tiago R; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Kellner, Alexander W A

    2015-08-26

    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized.

  15. Lizard thermal biology: do genders differ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huey, Raymond B; Pianka, Eric R

    2007-09-01

    For more than six decades, physiological ecologists have intensively studied diverse aspects of lizard thermal biology. Nevertheless, a recent review notes that prior studies have generally ignored gender differences in body temperatures, thermal sensitivity, or other aspects of thermal biology. We concur that gender differences have been ignored and should be examined: if gender differences prove common, standard protocols for studying lizard natural history, thermal physiology, and ecology will require significant modification. To help resolve this issue, we conducted a retrospective analysis of our huge data set on the thermal biology of many desert lizards (more than 11,000 individuals from 56 species in seven major clades) from Africa, Australia, and North America. Results are unambiguous: gender differences in body temperature, air temperature, and time of activity--and thus in field thermal biology--are almost always minor. In fact, mean body temperatures of males and females differ by less than 1 degrees C in 80.4% of species. For desert lizards, gender differences in thermal biology are the exception, not the rule. Nevertheless, gender differences should be examined when feasible because exceptions--though likely rare--could be biologically interesting.

  16. Integrative biology of tail autotomy in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Timothy E; Russell, Anthony P; Zani, Peter A

    2013-01-01

    Self-amputation (autotomy) of the tail is essential for the survival of many lizards. Accordingly, it has garnered the attention of scientists for more than 200 years. Several factors can influence the release of the tail, such as the size, sex, and age of the lizard; type of predator; ecology; and evolutionary history of the lineage. Once lost, the tail will writhe for seconds to minutes, and these movements likely depend on the size and physiology of the tail, habitat of the lizard, and predation pressure. Loss of the tail will, in turn, have impacts on the lizard, such as modified locomotor performance and mechanics, as well as escape behavior. However, the tail is almost always regenerated, and this involves wound healing, altered investment of resources, and tissue differentiation. The regenerated tail generally differs from the original in several ways, including size, shape, and function. Here we summarize recent findings of research pertaining to tail autotomy, and we propose a framework for future investigations.

  17. Lizards of Brazilian Amazonia (Reptilia: Squamata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Avila-Pires, T.C.S.

    1995-01-01

    Eighty-nine species of lizards, six of which polytypic (forming a total of 97 taxa), are presently known from Brazilian Amazonia. This number includes six species and one subspecies described as new to science in this paper: Stenocercus fimbriatus, Lepidoblepharis hoogmoedi, Leposoma osvaldoi, L. sn

  18. First data on the molecular phylogeography of scincid lizards of the genus Mabuya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mausfeld, P; Vences, M; Schmitz, A; Veith, M

    2000-10-01

    A 487-bp fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene was sequenced in 26 species of the circumtropical lizard genus Mabuya and used to analyze phylogenetic relationships within the genus. The species from Africa and Madagascar formed a monophyletic group relative to the included Asian and South American taxa. The Malagasy species included (M. elegans, M. cf. dumasi, and M. comorensis) did not appear as a monophylum. Combined and separate analysis of the 16S data and additional sequences of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA, ND4, and cytochrome b genes (a total of 2255 bp) in one Asian, two Malagasy, and two African species also did not result consistently in a monophyletic grouping of the Malagasy taxa. However, a monophylum containing African and Malagasy taxa was strongly supported by the combined analysis. These preliminary results indicate that Mabuya probably colonized Madagascar from Africa through the Mozambique Channel.

  19. Habitat degradation may affect niche segregation patterns in lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelegrin, N.; Chani, J. M.; Echevarria, A. L.; Bucher, E. H.

    2013-08-01

    Lizards partition resources in three main niche dimensions: time, space and food. Activity time and microhabitat use are strongly influenced by thermal environment, and may differ between species according to thermal requirements and tolerance. As thermal characteristics are influenced by habitat structure, microhabitat use and activity of lizards can change in disturbed habitats. We compared activity and microhabitat use of two abundant lizard species of the Semi-arid Chaco of Argentina between a restored and a highly degraded Chaco forest, to determine how habitat degradation affects lizard segregation in time and space, hypothesizing that as activity and microhabitat use of lizards are related to habitat structure, activity and microhabitat use of individual species can be altered in degraded habitats, thus changing segregation patterns between them. Activity changed from an overlapped pattern in a restored forest to a segregated pattern in a degraded forest. A similar trend was observed for microhabitat use, although to a less extent. No correlation was found between air temperature and lizard activity, but lizard activity varied along the day and among sites. Contrary to what was believed, activity patterns of neotropical diurnal lizards are not fixed, but affected by multiple factors related to habitat structure and possibly to interspecific interactions. Changes in activity patterns and microhabitat use in degraded forests may have important implications when analyzing the effects of climate change on lizard species, due to synergistic effects.

  20. Coupled, Active Oscillators and Lizard Otoacoustic Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergevin, Christopher; Velenovsky, David S.; Bonine, Kevin E.

    2011-11-01

    The present study empirically explores the relationship between spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) and stimulus-frequency emissions (SFOAEs) in lizards, an ideal group for such research given their relatively simple inner ear (e.g., lack of basilar membrane traveling waves), diverse morphology across species/families (e.g., tectorial membrane structure) and robust emissions. In a nutshell, our results indicate that SFOAEs evoked using low-level tones are intimately related to underlying SOAE activity, and appear to represent the entrained response of active oscillators closely tuned to the probe frequency. The data described here indicate several essential features that are desirable to capture in theoretical models for auditory transduction in lizards, and potentially represent generic properties at work in many different classes of "active" ears.

  1. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats.

  2. Interhabitat differences in energy acquisition and expenditure in a lizard

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karasov, W.H.; Anderson, R.A.

    1984-02-01

    Cnemidophorus hyperythrus, a small (approx. =4-g) teiid lizard, occurs along an elevational thorn scrub-thorn woodland-thorn forest habitat gradient in the cape region of Baja California. The authors compared body size, daily energy expenditure (DEE, measured with double labeled water), relative feeding rate (as reflected by H/sub 2/O influx rate), behavior, and abundance of this species at two sites along the gradient. At the inland thorn woodland site C. hyperythrus were more abundant (approx. =50 lizards/ha.). Mean body mass of woodland site lizards was 13% greater than that of scrub lizards. The DEE of the thorn woodland lizards, 330 site J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, and their H/sub 2/O influx, 99 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/, were also higher than the thorn scrub lizards', 219 J x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/ and 52 mm/sup 3/ x g/sup -1/ x d/sup -1/. Diets at the two sites were similar. There were no differences between sexes in diet, DEE, or H/sub 2/ influx. Daily maintenance energy costs were calculated based upon laboratory measures of O/sub 2/ consumption of resting lizards at a series of temperatures that represented the daily range of body temperatures experienced by lizards in the field. Activity costs (=DEE minus maintenance) were three times higher in the woodland lizards. Behavioral observations showed that woodland lizards were active most of the day (approx. =9 h/d) whereas scrub lizards were active primarily in the morning (approx. =3.5 h/d). Thus, the higher activity cost, DEE, and feeding rate of woodland lizards can be explained by their longer daily activity period. We suggest causal factors for the difference in daily activity period, and discuss implications of length of daily forging period for adult body size, population density, and various life history parameters of lizards.

  3. African Literature

    OpenAIRE

    Recek, Denis

    2011-01-01

    The topic of this diploma is the formation and shaping of African literature. The first chapter is about the beginning of African literature. It describes oral literature and its transmission into written literature. Written African literature had great problems in becoming a part of world literature because of its diversity of languages and dialects. Christianity and Islam are mentioned as two religions which had a great impact on African literature. Colonialism is broadly described as an es...

  4. Benefiting Africans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    Along with thriving Sino-African economic and trade ties,Chinese companies have attached greater importance to their social responsibility to Africans.More than 2,000 sweaters woven by Chinese mothers were sent to orphans and disabled children in Kenya and four other African countries in September. This activity was launched by Hengyuanxiang,aleading Chinese wool manufacturer.

  5. Benefiting Africans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG ZHIPING

    2011-01-01

    Along with thriving Sino-African economic and trade ties,Chinese companies have attached greater importance to their social responsibility to Africans.More than 2,000 sweaters woven by Chinese mothers were sent to orphans and disabled children in Kenya and four other African countries in September.This activity was launched by Hengyuanxiang,a leading Chinese wool manufacturer.

  6. The Lizard Wireless Station of Guglielmo Marconi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montstein, Christian

    2014-08-01

    During the vacation with my wife in Cornwall, we by chance were walking by the Lizard wireless station, originally installed by Guglielmo Marconi and recently refurbished by The National Trust/UK. Fortunately the shed was open for public visitors and a student was present telling stories about the station and its history. The historic equipment was demonstrated by sending some Morse codes. The high voltage sparks and its sound were quite impressive while in the background the Morse code receiver punched dots and dashes onto the strip chart.

  7. GABAergic cell types in the lizard hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guirado, S; Dávila, J C

    1999-04-01

    The neurochemical classification of GABAergic cells in the lizard hippocampus resulted in a further division into four major, non-overlapping subtypes. Each GABAergic cell subtype displays specific targets on the principal hippocampal neurons. The synaptic targets of the GABA/neuropeptide subtype are the distal apical dendrites of principal neurons. Calretinin- and parvalbumin-containing GABAergic cells synapse on the cell body and proximal dendrites of principal cells. Calbindin is expressed in a distinct group of interneurons, the synapses of which are directed to the dendrites of principal neurons. Finally, another subtype displays NADPH-diaphorase activity, but its synaptic target has not been established.

  8. Prevalence of neutralising antibodies against adenoviruses in lizards and snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Inna; Ofner, Sabine; Funk, Richard S; Griffin, Chris; Riedel, Ulf; Möhring, Jens; Marschang, Rachel E

    2014-10-01

    Adenoviruses (AdVs) are relatively common in lizards and snakes, and several genetically distinct AdVs have been isolated in cell culture. The aims of this study were to examine serological relationships among lizard and snake AdVs and to determine the frequency of AdV infections in these species. Isolates from a boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), a corn snake (Pantherophis gutattus) and a central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), and two isolates from helodermatid lizards (Heloderma horridum and H. suspectum) were used in neutralisation tests for the detection of antibodies in plasma from 263 lizards from seven families (including 12 species) and from 141 snakes from four families (including 28 species) from the USA and Europe. Most lizard and snake samples had antibodies against a range of AdV isolates, indicating that AdV infection is common among these squamates. Neutralisation tests with polyclonal antibodies raised in rabbits demonstrated serological cross-reactivity between both helodermatid lizard isolates. However, squamate plasma showed different reactions to each of these lizard isolates in neutralisation tests.

  9. Distribution pattern and number of ticks on lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudek, Krzysztof; Skórka, Piotr; Sajkowska, Zofia Anna; Ekner-Grzyb, Anna; Dudek, Monika; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    The success of ectoparasites depends primarily on the site of attachment and body condition of their hosts. Ticks usually tend to aggregate on vertebrate hosts in specific areas, but the distribution pattern may depend on host body size and condition, sex, life stage or skin morphology. Here, we studied the distribution of ticks on lizards and tested the following hypothesis: occurrence or high abundance of ticks is confined with body parts with smaller scales and larger interscalar length because such sites should provide ticks with superior attachment conditions. This study was performed in field conditions in central Poland in 2008-2011. In total, 500 lizards (Lacerta agilis) were caught and 839 ticks (Ixodes ricinus, larvae and nymphs) were collected from them. Using generalised linear mixed models, we found that the ticks were most abundant on forelimbs and their axillae, with 90% of ticks attached there. This part of the lizard body and the region behind the hindlimb were covered by the smallest scales with relatively wide gaps between them. This does not fully support our hypothesis that ticks prefer locations with easy access to skin between scales, because it does not explain why so few ticks were in the hindlimb area. We found that the abundance of ticks was positively correlated with lizard body size index (snout-vent length). Tick abundance was also higher in male and mature lizards than in female and young individuals. Autotomy had no effect on tick abundance. We found no correlation between tick size and lizard morphology, sex, autotomy and body size index. The probability of occurrence of dead ticks was positively linked with the total number of ticks on the lizard but there was no relationship between dead tick presence and lizard size, sex or age. Thus lizard body size and sex are the major factors affecting the abundance of ticks, and these parasites are distributed nearly exclusively on the host's forelimbs and their axillae.

  10. Helminths of the exotic lizard Hemidactylus mabouia from a rock outcrop area in southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anjos, L A; Rocha, C F D; Vrcibradic, D; Vicente, J J

    2005-12-01

    The helminth fauna of 291 Hemidactylus mabouia (Lacertilia: Gekkonidae) from a rock outcrop area in the state of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil, was studied. Five species were recovered, namely one unidentified species of centrorhynchid acanthocephalan (present only as cystacanths) and the nematodes Parapharyngodon sceleratus, P. largitor (Oxyuroidea: Pharingodonidae), Physaloptera sp. (Spiruroidea: Physalopteridae) and one indeterminate species of Acuariidae (Acuaroidea), with the latter two forms present only as larvae. Infection rates tended to increase with host size, but appeared to be unaffected by season. Hemidactylus mabouia shared most of its helminth fauna with two other sympatric lizard hosts, Mabuya frenata and Tropidurus itambere. The helminth assemblage of the H. mabouia population appears to have been entirely acquired by this exotic gecko from the local helminth species pool, rather than possessing any species from the parasite faunas of the original African populations.

  11. Nephtyidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Anna; Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Seven species of the family Nephtyidae are recorded from Lizard Island, none previously reported from the Great Barrier Reef. Two species of Aglaophamus, four species of Micronephthys, one new and one previously unreported from Australia, and one species of Nephtys, were identified from samples collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop 2013, as well as from ecological studies undertaken during the 1970s and deposited in the Australian Museum marine invertebrate Collections. A dichotomous key to aid identification of these species newly reported from Lizard Island is provided.

  12. Limb development in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis: A reconsideration of homology in the lizard carpus and tarsus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Francisca; Tarazona, Oscar A; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2010-11-01

    Despite the attention squamate lizards have received in the study of digit and limb loss, little is known about limb morphogenesis in pentadactyl lizards. Recent developmental studies have provided a basis for understanding lizard autopodial element homology based on developmental and comparative anatomy. In addition, the composition and identity of some carpal and tarsal elements of lizard limbs, and reptiles in general, have been the theme of discussions about their homology compared to non-squamate Lepidosauromorpha and basal Amniota. The study of additional embryonic material from different lizard families may improve our understanding of squamate limb evolution. Here, we analyze limb morphogenesis in the gekkonid lizard Gonatodes albogularis describing patterns of chondrogenesis and ossification from early stages of embryonic development to hatchlings. Our results are in general agreement with previous developmental studies, but we also show that limb development in squamates probably involves more chondrogenic elements for carpal and tarsal morphogenesis, as previously recognized on the grounds of comparative anatomy. We provide evidence for the transitory presence of distal carpale 1 and intermedium in the carpus and tibiale, intermedium, distal centralia, and distal tarsale 2 in the tarsus. Hence, we demonstrate that some elements that were believed to be lost in squamate evolution are conserved as transitory elements during limb development. However, these elements do not represent just phylogenetic burden but may be important for the morphogenesis of the lizard autopodium.

  13. Quantum Probabilistic Structures in Competing Lizard Communities

    CERN Document Server

    Aerts, Diederik; Kuna, Maciej; Sinervo, Barry; Sozzo, Sandro

    2012-01-01

    Almost two decades of research on the use of the mathematical formalism of quantum theory as a modeling tool for entities and their dynamics in domains different from the micro-world has now firmly shown the systematic appearance of quantum structures in aspects of human behavior and thought, such as in cognitive processes of decision-making, and in the way concepts are combined into sentences. In this paper, we extend this insight to animal behavior showing that a quantum probabilistic structure models the mating competition of three side-blotched lizard morphs. We analyze a set of experimental data collected from 1990 to 2011 on these morphs, whose territorial behavior follows a cyclic rock-paper-scissors (RPS) dynamics. Consequently we prove that a single classical Kolmogorovian space does not exist for the lizard's dynamics, and elaborate an explicit quantum description in Hilbert space faithfully modeling the gathered data. This result is relevant for population dynamics as a whole, since many systems, e...

  14. Isolation breeds naivety: island living robs Australian varanid lizards of toad-toxin immunity via four-base-pair mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujvari, Beata; Mun, Hee-chang; Conigrave, Arthur D; Bray, Alessandra; Osterkamp, Jens; Halling, Petter; Madsen, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Since their introduction to the toad-free Australian continent cane toads (Bufo marinus) have caused a dramatic increase in naïve varanid mortality when these large lizards attempt to feed on this toxic amphibian. In contrast Asian-African varanids, which have coevolved with toads, are resistant to toad toxin. Toad toxins, such as Bufalin target the H1-H2 domain of the α(1) subunit of the sodium-potassium-ATPase enzyme. Sequencing of this domain revealed identical nucleotide sequences in four Asian as well as in three African varanids, and identical sequences in all 11 Australian varanids. However, compared to the Asian-African varanids, the Australian varanids showed four-base-pair substitutions, resulting in the alteration in three of the 12 amino acids representing the H1-H2 domain. The phenotypic effect of the substitutions was investigated in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells stably transfected with the Australian and the Asian-African H1-H2 domains. The transfections resulted in an approximate 3000-fold reduction in resistance to Bufalin in the Australian HEK293 cells compared to the Asian-African HEK293 cells, demonstrating the critical role of this minor mutation in providing Bufalin resistance. Our study hence presents a clear link between genotype and phenotype, a critical step in understanding the evolution of phenotypic diversity.

  15. Status of the Island Night Lizard and Two Non-Native Lizards on Outlying Landing Field San Nicolas Island, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, Gary M.; Drost, Charles A.; Murphey, Thomas G.

    2008-01-01

    More than 900 individually marked island night lizards (Xantusia riversiana) were captured on San Nicolas Island, California, between 1984 and 2007 as part of an ongoing study to monitor the status of this threatened species. Our data suggest that at least a few lizards are probably more than 20 years old, and one lizard would be 31.5 years old if it grew at an average rate for the population. Ages of 20 and 30 years seem reasonable given the remarkably slow growth during capture intervals of more than a decade for five of the lizards which we estimated to be 20 or more years old. Like other lizards, island night lizard growth rates vary by size, with larger lizards growing more slowly. In general, growth rates were somewhat greater on San Nicolas Island (compared with Santa Barbara Island), and this increase was sustained through all of the intermediate size classes. The higher growth rate may account for the somewhat larger lizards present on San Nicolas Island, although we cannot discount the possibility that night lizards on San Nicolas are merely living longer. The high percentage of small lizards in the Eucalyptus habitat might seem to reflect a healthy population in that habitat, but the high proportion of small lizards appears to be caused by good reproduction in the 1900s and substantially poorer reproduction in subsequent years. The Eucalyptus habitat has dried quite a bit in recent years. Night lizards in the Haplopappus/Grassland habitat have shown an increase in the proportion of larger lizards since 2000. There has also been an increase in the proportion of large lizards in the Rock Cobble habitat at Redeye Beach. However, there are has been some change in habitat with more elephant seals occupying the same area just above the high tide as do the night lizards. Southern alligator lizards and side-blotched lizards are both non-native on San Nicolas Island. Neither lizard causes obvious harm to island night lizards, and management time and effort should

  16. A New Eocene Casquehead Lizard (Reptilia, Corytophanidae) from North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Jack L

    2015-01-01

    A new fossil showing affinities with extant Laemanctus offers the first clear evidence for a casquehead lizard (Corytophanidae) from the Eocene of North America. Along with Geiseltaliellus from roughly coeval rocks in central Europe, the new find further documents the tropical fauna present during greenhouse conditions in the northern mid-latitudes approximately 50 million years ago (Ma). Modern Corytophanidae is a neotropical clade of iguanian lizards ranging from southern Mexico to northern South America.

  17. Life-History Patterns of Lizards of the World.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesquita, Daniel O; Costa, Gabriel C; Colli, Guarino R; Costa, Taís B; Shepard, Donald B; Vitt, Laurie J; Pianka, Eric R

    2016-06-01

    Identification of mechanisms that promote variation in life-history traits is critical to understand the evolution of divergent reproductive strategies. Here we compiled a large life-history data set (674 lizard populations, representing 297 species from 263 sites globally) to test a number of hypotheses regarding the evolution of life-history traits in lizards. We found significant phylogenetic signal in most life-history traits, although phylogenetic signal was not particularly high. Climatic variables influenced the evolution of many traits, with clutch frequency being positively related to precipitation and clutches of tropical lizards being smaller than those of temperate species. This result supports the hypothesis that in tropical and less seasonal climates, many lizards tend to reproduce repeatedly throughout the season, producing smaller clutches during each reproductive episode. Our analysis also supported the hypothesis that viviparity has evolved in lizards as a response to cooler climates. Finally, we also found that variation in trait values explained by clade membership is unevenly distributed among lizard clades, with basal clades and a few younger clades showing the most variation. Our global analyses are largely consistent with life-history theory and previous results based on smaller and scattered data sets, suggesting that these patterns are remarkably consistent across geographic and taxonomic scales.

  18. [The comparative aspects of spatial ecology of lizards exemplified by the toad-headed lizards (Reptilia, Agamidae, Phrynocephalus)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenov, D V

    2007-01-01

    The possibility of analysis of phylogenetic parameters of the spatial distribution of populations is discussed by an example of the agamid toad-headed lizards (Phrynocephalus). Summarizing both original and published data on the individual home ranges and the relocation of individuals of 30 populations from 12 species showed that differentiation of the type of spatial distribution is weak in toad-headed lizards. This observation confirms the idea that this clade of agamids is phylogenetically young and relatively recently radiated. At the interspecific level, positive correlation between home range size and body size was observed in the studied group. Such spatial parameters, shared by all toad-headed lizards, as relatively large size and weakly structured individual home ranges can be explained by the peculiarities of their reproduction features and their foraging mode. The individual type of space-usage in toad-headed does not fit the traditional scheme dividing all the lizards into the territorial Iguania and the nonterritorial Autarchoglossa.

  19. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballen, Cissy; Healey, Mo; Wilson, Mark; Tobler, Michael; Olsson, Mats

    2012-08-01

    Telomeres shorten as a consequence of DNA replication, in particular in cells with low production of telomerase and perhaps in response to physiological stress from exposure to reactive oxygen species, such as superoxide. This process of telomere attrition is countered by innate antioxidation, such as via the production of superoxide dismutase. We studied the inheritance of telomere length in the Australian painted dragon lizard ( Ctenophorus pictus) and the extent to which telomere length covaries with mass-corrected maternal reproductive investment, which reflects the level of circulating yolk precursor and antioxidant, vitellogenin. Our predictors of offspring telomere length explained 72 % of telomere variation (including interstitial telomeres if such are present). Maternal telomere length and reproductive investment were positively influencing offspring telomere length in our analyses, whereas flow cytometry-estimated superoxide level was negatively impacting offspring telomere length. We suggest that the effects of superoxide on hatchling telomere shortening may be partly balanced by transgenerational effects of vitellogenin antioxidation.

  20. Absolute Population Densities of the Lizards of Ritidian Point, Guam National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Intensive sampling for lizards of Guam NWR at Ritidian Point using a total removal methodology quantifies the lizard fauna in unprecedented detail, providing...

  1. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species

    OpenAIRE

    Leu, Stephan T.; C Michael Bull

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantiall...

  2. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan T Leu

    Full Text Available Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps, and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions.

  3. Artificial Water Point for Livestock Influences Spatial Ecology of a Native Lizard Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leu, Stephan T; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

    Pastoralism is a major agricultural activity in drier environments, and can directly and indirectly impact native species in those areas. We investigated how the supply of an artificial watering point to support grazing livestock affected movement and activity patterns of the Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) during a drought year. We observed 23 adult lizards; six had access to a dam, whereas 17 lizards did not. Lizards with access to the dam had larger home ranges, were substantially active on more days (days with >100 steps), and moved more steps per day compared to lizards that did not have access to the dam, both during the early and late period of our observation. Furthermore, while the two groups of lizards had similar body condition early in the season, they differed later in the season. Lizards with dam access retained, whereas lizards without access lost body condition. Local heterogeneity in access to an artificial water resource resulted in spatially dependent behavioural variation among sleepy lizard individuals. This suggests that sleepy lizards have flexible responses to changing climatic conditions, depending on the availability of water. Furthermore, while reducing activity appears a suitable short term strategy, if harsh conditions persist, then access to dams could be of substantial benefit and could support sustained lizard activity and movement and allow maintenance of body condition. Hence, artificial watering points, such as the dams constructed by pastoralists, may provide local higher quality refugia for sleepy lizards and other species during drought conditions.

  4. The Ins & Outs of Developing a Field-Based Science Project: Learning by Lassoing Lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Catherine E.; Huffling, Lacey D.; Benavides, Aerin

    2014-01-01

    We describe a field-based lizard project we did with high school students as a part of our summer Herpetological Research Experiences. We describe data collection on lizards captured, identified, and marked as a part of our mark-recapture study. We also describe other lizard projects that are ongoing in the United States and provide resources for…

  5. 76 FR 62087 - Draft Conservation Plan and Draft Environmental Assessment; Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-06

    ... Lizard, Texas AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability; announcement... application includes the draft Texas Conservation Plan for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (TCP). The draft TCP... Service (Service) and the Applicant for the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) throughout...

  6. Spatial, ontogenetic and sexual effects on the diet of a Teiid lizard in arid South America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, van J.P.; Catenazzi, A.; Holmgren, M.

    2011-01-01

    Most lizard species feed on small arthropods, and although some are omnivorous, only a few species are strict herbivores. We studied the diet of Dicrodon guttulatum, a teiid lizard endemic to the arid coastal deserts and dry forests of northern Peru. Herbivory by this lizard has been identified as a

  7. 白条草蜥多态性微卫星位点的分离与鉴定%Isolation and Characterization of Nine Polymorphic Microsatellites in White-striped Grass Lizard

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗来高; 吴义莲; 耿军; 许雪峰

    2013-01-01

    白条草蜥(Takydromus wolteri)是一种年产多窝卵的蜥蜴.为了对其婚配制度、同一雌性个体所产卵的窝内和窝间的父权状况、种群的遗传结构和物种的进化历史等研究内容进行探讨,本研究筛选出白条草蜥的9个具有高度多态性的微卫星位点.微卫星位点筛选自包含(AC)n和(ATAG)n重复片度的微卫星富集文库.在白条草蜥安徽滁州种群的16 ~32个个体中对上述位点进行检测后发现,上述座位的等位基因数目范围为12 ~ 20个,期望杂合度范围为0.894 ~0.955,观测杂合度范围0.565 ~0.938,表明这些微卫星标记具有良好的遗传多样性,它们将在白条草蜥的种群遗传结构、基因流水平、种群分化和婚配制度的研究中发挥重要作用.%White-striped Grass Lizard (Takydromus wolteri) is an oviparous lacertid lizard.Females produce multiple clutches of eggs during the breeding season.To understand the mating system,the paternity of the offspring within and among clutches,the population genetic structure and the evolutionary history of this species,we developed 9 highly polymorphic microsatellites for T.wolteri in a population from Chuzhou,Anhui,China.Loci were isolated from a genomic library enriched for (AC)n and (ATAG)n repetitive elements and primers were tested in 16-32 individuals.The number of alleles ranged from 12 to 20 per locus,the expected heterozygosity (Hc) ranged from 0.894 to 0.955,and the observed heterozygosity (Ho) ranged from 0.565 to 0.938.These loci could be useful markers to investigate population genetic structure,gene flow level,population differentiation and mating systems in T.wolteri.

  8. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in lizards: a comparison of the skink-like lizard families Cordylidae and Gerrhosauridae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2009-09-01

    Lizard families can be grouped into larger units comprising those families that are closely related and whose auditory papillae are morphologically very similar. Based on the few species studied at that time [Manley, G.A., 1997. Diversity in hearing-organ structure and the characteristics of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in lizards. In: Lewis, E.R., Long, G.R., Lyon, R.F., Narins, P.M., Steele, C.R. (Eds.), Diversity in Auditory Mechanics. World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, pp. 32-38], it was suggested that SOAE spectral patterns are strongly influenced by papillar anatomy. However, in two family groups, only one single species has been studied and we have no data on the regularity of pattern within related lizard families. Within the group of skink-like lizards, whose papillae all have salletal tectorial structures, the only detailed SOAE studies so far were on the skink genus Tiliqua. To ascertain the similarity of SOAE in species from families related to the skinks, we have studied one species each from two families that are closely related to skinks, the Cordylidae (Girdle-tailed lizards) and the Gerrhosauridae (plated lizards). Gerrhosaurus and Cordylus have a similar number and amplitudes of SOAE to Tiliqua (Skinkidae). The maximal frequency shifts of SOAE under the influence of external tones is also similar to that of Tiliqua. However, the maximal suppression and maximal facilitation are smaller. In general, the patterns displayed by the SOAE of lizards of these two new families are recognizably similar to the skink Tiliqua, suggesting that the anatomy of the papilla and the tectorial structures do play an important role in determining how SOAE are manifested in papillae that possess tectorial sallets.

  9. Effects of inorganic lead on Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salice, Christopher J., E-mail: chris.salice@ttu.ed [US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Suski, Jamie G., E-mail: jamie.suski@ttu.ed [US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Bazar, Matthew A., E-mail: matthew.bazar@us.army.mi [US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Talent, Larry G., E-mail: larry.talent@okstate.ed [Oklahoma State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States)

    2009-12-15

    Although anthropogenic pollutants are thought to threaten reptilian species, there are few toxicity studies on reptiles. We evaluated the toxicity of Pb as lead acetate to the Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). The acute lethal dose and sub-acute (14-day) toxicity studies were used to narrow exposure concentrations for a sub-chronic (60-day) study. In the sub-chronic study, adult and juvenile male lizards were dosed via gavage with 0, 1, 10 and 20 mg Pb/kg-bw/day. Mortality was limited and occurred only at the highest dose (20 mg Pb/kg-bw/d). There were statistically significant sub-lethal effects of 10 and 20 mg Pb/kg-bw/d on body weight, cricket consumption, organ weight, hematological parameters and post-dose behaviors. Of these, Pb-induced changes in body weight are most useful for ecological risk assessment because it is linked to fitness in wild lizard populations. The Western fence lizard is a useful model for reptilian toxicity studies. - The Western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, is sensitive to Pb and is a useful laboratory model for ecotoxicological testing of reptiles.

  10. Wind constraints on the thermoregulation of high mountain lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-08-01

    Thermal biology of lizards affects their overall physiological performance. Thus, it is crucial to study how abiotic constraints influence thermoregulation. We studied the effect of wind speed on thermoregulation in an endangered mountain lizard (Iberolacerta aurelioi). We compared two populations of lizards: one living in a sheltered rocky area and the other living in a mountain ridge, exposed to strong winds. The preferred temperature range of I. aurelioi, which reflects thermal physiology, was similar in both areas, and it was typical of a cold specialist. Although the thermal physiology of lizards and the structure of the habitat were similar, the higher wind speed in the exposed population was correlated with a significant decrease in the effectiveness thermoregulation, dropping from 0.83 to 0.74. Our results suggest that wind reduces body temperatures in two ways: via direct convective cooling of the animal and via convective cooling of the substrate, which causes conductive cooling of the animal. The detrimental effect of wind on thermoregulatory effectiveness is surprising, since lizards are expected to thermoregulate more effectively in more challenging habitats. However, wind speed would affect the costs and benefits of thermoregulation in more complex ways than just the cooling of animals and their habitats. For example, it may reduce the daily activity, increase desiccation, or complicate the hunting of prey. Finally, our results imply that wind should also be considered when developing conservation strategies for threatened ectotherms.

  11. Nereididae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glasby, Christopher J

    2015-09-18

    Nereididae is one of the most ubiquitous of polychaete families, yet knowledge of their diversity in the northern Great Barrier Reef is poor; few species have been previously reported from any of the atolls or islands including Lizard Island. In this study, the diversity of the family from Lizard Island and surrounding reefs is documented based on museum collections derived from surveys conducted mostly over the last seven years. The Lizard Island nereidid fauna was found to be represented by 14 genera and 38 species/species groups, including 11 putative new species. Twelve species are newly reported from Lizard Island; four of these are also first records for Australia. For each genus and species, diagnoses and/or taxonomic remarks are provided in addition to notes on their habitat on Lizard Island, and general distribution; the existence of tissue samples tied to vouchered museum specimens is indicated. Fluorescence photography is used to help distinguish closely similar species of Nereis and Platynereis. A key is provided to facilitate identification and encourage further taxonomic, molecular and ecological studies on the group.

  12. Experimental infections in Venezuelan lizards by Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urdaneta-Morales, S; McLure, I

    1981-06-01

    Virulent trypomastigotes of the Y strain of Trypanosoma cruzi were administered to Tropidurus hispidus, Ameiva ameiva, Cnemidophorus lemniscatus, Polychrus marmoratus, and Phyllodactylus ventralis (Sauria). Intraperitoneal and subcutaneous inoculations of lizards with mouse blood or with feces of infected Rhodnius prolixus (Reduviidae, Triatominae), as well as forced ingestion of triturated Rhodnius, produced no parasitaemias detectable either directly or by xenodiagnosis, while control mice became parasitized. Pretreatment with the immunosuppressive drug Fluocinolone acetonide led to establishing patent infections in inoculated lizards. Cryptic infections were established by inoculation of 1 X 10(6) parasites from Davis' medium, or by 95 X 10(3) parasites from lizard tissue culture. Parasites were not seen in tissues. Mice inoculated with blood or tissue homogenates from these lizards became parasitized. Parasites from Davis' medium inoculated into the peritoneal cavity of lizards were capable, to a very low degree, of penetrating the free peritoneal macrophages and changing into amastigotes. The factors possibly responsible for the natural resistance of poikilothermic vertebrates to T. cruzi are discussed.

  13. The alteration of proportion of different lizard species compared to each other at The Great Pasture of Hajdubagos

    OpenAIRE

    Antal, Zsuzsanna

    2006-01-01

    Three different lizard species can be found at the great pasture of Hajúbagos. These are the balkan or crimean wall lizard (Podarcis taurica), the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) and the green lizard (Lacerta viridis). All of them are protected by law in Hungary but while sand lizard and green lizard is common all over the country, the amount of the balkan wall lizard is decreasing. The main cause of this regrettable possession is the habitat degradation and thus habitat loss. Namely balkan wall...

  14. High sensitivity to short wavelengths in a lizard and implications for understanding the evolution of visual systems in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleishman, Leo J; Loew, Ellis R; Whiting, Martin J

    2011-10-07

    Progress in developing animal communication theory is frequently constrained by a poor understanding of sensory systems. For example, while lizards have been the focus of numerous studies in visual signalling, we only have data on the spectral sensitivities of a few species clustered in two major clades (Iguania and Gekkota). Using electroretinography and microspectrophotometry, we studied the visual system of the cordylid lizard Platysaurus broadleyi because it represents an unstudied clade (Scinciformata) with respect to visual systems and because UV signals feature prominently in its social behaviour. The retina possessed four classes of single and one class of double cones. Sensitivity in the ultraviolet region (UV) was approximately three times higher than previously reported for other lizards. We found more colourless oil droplets (associated with UV-sensitive (UVS) and short wavelength-sensitive (SWS) photoreceptors), suggesting that the increased sensitivity was owing to the presence of more UVS photoreceptors. Using the Vorobyev-Osorio colour discrimination model, we demonstrated that an increase in the number of UVS photoreceptors significantly enhances a lizard's ability to discriminate conspecific male throat colours. Visual systems in diurnal lizards appear to be broadly conserved, but data from additional clades are needed to confirm this.

  15. The auditory brainstem response in two lizard species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brittan-Powell, Elizabeth F; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Tang, Yezhong;

    2010-01-01

    Although lizards have highly sensitive ears, it is difficult to condition them to sound, making standard psychophysical assays of hearing sensitivity impractical. This paper describes non-invasive measurements of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) in both Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko; nocturnal...... animals, known for their loud vocalizations) and the green anole (Anolis carolinensis, diurnal, non-vocal animals). Hearing sensitivity was measured in 5 geckos and 7 anoles. The lizards were sedated with isoflurane, and ABRs were measured at levels of 1 and 3% isoflurane. The typical ABR waveform......). Above 5 kHz, however, anoles were more than 20 dB more sensitive than geckos and showed a wider range of sensitivity (1-7 kHz). Generally, thresholds from ABR audiograms were comparable to those of small birds. Best hearing sensitivity, however, extended over a larger frequency range in lizards than...

  16. Oxidative stress decreases with elevation in the lizard Psammodromus algirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reguera, Senda; Zamora-Camacho, Francisco J; Trenzado, Cristina E; Sanz, Ana; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2014-06-01

    Oxidative stress is considered one of the main ecological and evolutionary forces. Several environmental stressors vary geographically and thus organisms inhabiting different sites face different oxidant environments. Nevertheless, there is scarce information about how oxidative damage and antioxidant defences vary geographically in animals. Here we study how oxidative stress varies from lowlands (300-700 m asl) to highlands (2200-2500 m asl) in the lizard Psammodromus algirus. To accomplish this, antioxidant enzymatic activity (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione transferase, DT-diaphorase) and lipid peroxidation were assayed in tissue samples from the lizards' tail. Lipid peroxidation was higher in individuals from lowlands than from highlands, indicating higher oxidative stress in lowland lizards. These results suggest that environmental conditions are less oxidant at high elevations with respect to low ones. Therefore, our study shows that oxidative stress varies geographically, which should have important consequences for our understanding of geographic variation in physiology and life-history of organisms.

  17. Serpulidae (Annelida) of Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kupriyanova, Elena K; Sun, Yanan; Hove, Harry A Ten; Wong, Eunice; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-09-18

    Serpulidae are obligatory sedentary polychaetes inhabiting calcareous tubes that are most common in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. This paper describes serpulid polychaetes collected from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia in 1983-2013 and deposited in Australian museums and overseas. In total, 17 serpulid genera were recorded, but although the study deals with 44 nominal taxa, the exact number of species remains unclear because a number of genera (i.e., Salmacina, Protula, Serpula, Spirobranchus, and Vermiliopsis) need world-wide revisions. Some species described herein are commonly found in the waters around Lizard Island, but had not previously been formally reported. A new species of Hydroides (H. lirs) and two new species of Semivermilia (S. annehoggettae and S. lylevaili) are described. A taxonomic key to all taxa found at Lizard Island is provided.

  18. Compositional Studies on Tropical Species of Agama agama Lizards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.O. Onibon

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess nutrient values of lizards (Agama agama. The samples earmarked for this study were obtained at Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Nigeria. In male and female Agama agama lizards, anatomical weights, proximate and mineral contents, tannin, oxalate and phytate compositions were determined using standard methods. The samples contained: 54.05-57.69% protein; 2.56-3.01% fat, 1.11-3.18% fibre, 12.91-13.40% ash, 21.38-21.94% NFE, 3.85-4.18% moisture and 328.80-347.5 kcal energy. All the major elements determined were found to be high. The tannin, oxalate, phytate contents were low, meaning that the bioavailability of protein and minerals are high. The values recorded for proximate and minerals compared with other animal sources. It is recommended that nutritional qualities of lizards should be harnessed.

  19. Tail regeneration affects the digestive performance of a Mediterranean lizard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagonas, Kostas; Karambotsi, Niki; Bletsa, Aristoula; Reppa, Aikaterini; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios D.

    2017-04-01

    In caudal autotomy, lizards shed their tail to escape from an attacking predator. Since the tail serves multiple functions, caudal regeneration is of pivotal importance. However, it is a demanding procedure that requires substantial energy and nutrients. Therefore, lizards have to increase energy income to fuel the extraordinary requirements of the regenerating tail. We presumed that autotomized lizards would adjust their digestion to acquire this additional energy. To clarify the effects of tail regeneration on digestion, we compared the digestive performance before autotomy, during regeneration, and after its completion. Tail regeneration indeed increased gut passage time but did not affect digestive performance in a uniform pattern: though protein income was maximized, lipid and sugar acquisition remained stable. This divergence in proteins may be attributed to their particular role in tail reconstruction, as they are the main building blocks for tissue formation.

  20. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Glenn J; Leite, Cleo A C; Sanders, Colin E; Cadena, Viviana; Andrade, Denis V; Abe, Augusto S; Milsom, William K

    2016-01-01

    With some notable exceptions, small ectothermic vertebrates are incapable of endogenously sustaining a body temperature substantially above ambient temperature. This view was challenged by our observations of nighttime body temperatures sustained well above ambient (up to 10°C) during the reproductive season in tegu lizards (~2 kg). This led us to hypothesize that tegus have an enhanced capacity to augment heat production and heat conservation. Increased metabolic rates and decreased thermal conductance are the same mechanisms involved in body temperature regulation in those vertebrates traditionally acknowledged as "true endotherms": the birds and mammals. The appreciation that a modern ectotherm the size of the earliest mammals can sustain an elevated body temperature through metabolic rates approaching that of endotherms enlightens the debate over endothermy origins, providing support for the parental care model of endothermy, but not for the assimilation capacity model of endothermy. It also indicates that, contrary to prevailing notions, ectotherms can engage in facultative endothermy, providing a physiological analog in the evolutionary transition to true endothermy.

  1. Does thermal ecology influence dynamics of side-blotched lizards and their micro-parasites?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paranjpe, Dhanashree A; Medina, Dianna; Nielsen, Erica; Cooper, Robert D; Paranjpe, Sharayu A; Sinervo, Barry

    2014-07-01

    Hosts and parasites form interacting populations that influence each other in multiple ways. Their dynamics can also be influenced by environmental and ecological factors. We studied host-parasite dynamics in a previously unexplored study system: side-blotched lizards and their micro-parasites. Compared with uninfected lizards, the infected lizards elected to bask at lower temperatures that were outside their range of preferred temperatures. Infected lizards also were not as precise as uninfected lizards in maintaining their body temperatures within a narrow range. At the ecological scale, areas with higher infection rates coincided with more thermally heterogeneous microhabitats as well as with the areas where lizards tended to live longer. Thermal heterogeneity of lizards' microhabitats may provide important clues to the spatial and temporal distribution of infections.

  2. Spatial patterns in the abundance of the coastal horned lizard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Robert N.; Suarez, Andrew V.; Case, Ted J.

    2002-01-01

    Coastal horned lizards (   Phrynosoma coronatum) have undergone severe declines in southern California and are a candidate species for state and federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. Quantitative data on their habitat use, abundance, and distribution are lacking, however. We investigated the determinants of abundance for coastal horned lizards at multiple spatial scales throughout southern California. Specifically, we estimated lizard distribution and abundance by establishing 256 pitfall trap arrays clustered within 21 sites across four counties. These arrays were sampled bimonthly for 2–3 years. At each array we measured 26 “local” site descriptors and averaged these values with other “regional” measures to determine site characteristics. Our analyses were successful at identifying factors within and among sites correlated with the presence and abundance of coastal horned lizards. These factors included the absence of the invasive Argentine ant (  Linepithema humile) (and presence of native ant species eaten by the lizards), the presence of chaparral community plants, and the presence of sandy substrates. At a regional scale the relative abundance of Argentine ants was correlated with the relative amount of developed edge around a site. There was no evidence for spatial autocorrelation, even at the scale of the arrays within sites, suggesting that the determinants of the presence or absence and abundance of horned lizard can vary over relatively small spatial scales ( hundreds of meters). Our results suggest that a gap-type approach may miss some of the fine-scale determinants of species abundance in fragmented habitats.

  3. Tail-assisted pitch control in lizards, robots and dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libby, Thomas; Moore, Talia Y; Chang-Siu, Evan; Li, Deborah; Cohen, Daniel J; Jusufi, Ardian; Full, Robert J

    2012-01-04

    In 1969, a palaeontologist proposed that theropod dinosaurs used their tails as dynamic stabilizers during rapid or irregular movements, contributing to their depiction as active and agile predators. Since then the inertia of swinging appendages has been implicated in stabilizing human walking, aiding acrobatic manoeuvres by primates and rodents, and enabling cats to balance on branches. Recent studies on geckos suggest that active tail stabilization occurs during climbing, righting and gliding. By contrast, studies on the effect of lizard tail loss show evidence of a decrease, an increase or no change in performance. Application of a control-theoretic framework could advance our general understanding of inertial appendage use in locomotion. Here we report that lizards control the swing of their tails in a measured manner to redirect angular momentum from their bodies to their tails, stabilizing body attitude in the sagittal plane. We video-recorded Red-Headed Agama lizards (Agama agama) leaping towards a vertical surface by first vaulting onto an obstacle with variable traction to induce a range of perturbations in body angular momentum. To examine a known controlled tail response, we built a lizard-sized robot with an active tail that used sensory feedback to stabilize pitch as it drove off a ramp. Our dynamics model revealed that a body swinging its tail experienced less rotation than a body with a rigid tail, a passively compliant tail or no tail. To compare a range of tails, we calculated tail effectiveness as the amount of tailless body rotation a tail could stabilize. A model Velociraptor mongoliensis supported the initial tail stabilization hypothesis, showing as it did a greater tail effectiveness than the Agama lizards. Leaping lizards show that inertial control of body attitude can advance our understanding of appendage evolution and provide biological inspiration for the next generation of manoeuvrable search-and-rescue robots.

  4. Earliest example of a giant monitor lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack L Conrad

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Varanidae is a clade of tiny (600 mm PCL lizards first appearing in the Cretaceous. True monitor lizards (Varanus are known from diagnostic remains beginning in the early Miocene (Varanus rusingensis, although extremely fragmentary remains have been suggested as indicating earlier Varanus. The paleobiogeographic history of Varanus and timing for origin of its gigantism remain uncertain. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A new Varanus from the Mytilini Formation (Turolian, Miocene of Samos, Greece is described. The holotype consists of a partial skull roof, right side of a braincase, partial posterior mandible, fragment of clavicle, and parts of six vertebrae. A cladistic analysis including 83 taxa coded for 5733 molecular and 489 morphological characters (71 previously unincluded demonstrates that the new fossil is a nested member of an otherwise exclusively East Asian Varanus clade. The new species is the earliest-known giant (>600 mm PCL terrestrial lizard. Importantly, this species co-existed with a diverse continental mammalian fauna. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The new monitor is larger (longer than 99% of known fossil and living lizards. Varanus includes, by far, the largest limbed squamates today. The only extant non-snake squamates that approach monitors in maximum size are the glass-snake Pseudopus and the worm-lizard Amphisbaena. Mosasauroids were larger, but exclusively marine, and occurred only during the Late Cretaceous. Large, extant, non-Varanus, lizards are limbless and/or largely isolated from mammalian competitors. By contrast, our new Varanus achieved gigantism in a continental environment populated by diverse eutherian mammal competitors.

  5. Modifying Directionality through Auditory System Scaling in a Robotic Lizard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shaikh, Danish; Hallam, John; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    2010-01-01

    The peripheral auditory system of a lizard is strongly directional. This directionality is created by acoustical coupling of the two eardrums and is strongly dependent on characteristics of the middle ear, such as interaural distance, resonance frequency of the middle ear cavity and of the tympanum....... Therefore, directionality should be strongly influenced by their scaling. In the present study, we have exploited an FPGA–based mobile robot based on a model of the lizard ear to investigate the influence of scaling on the directional response, in terms of the robot’s performance in a phonotaxis task...

  6. Evolution of Anolis lizard dewlap diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten E Nicholson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The dewlaps of Anolis lizards provide a classic example of a complex signaling system whose function and evolution is poorly understood. Dewlaps are flaps of skin beneath the chin that are extended and combined with head and body movements for visual signals and displays. They exhibit extensive morphological variation and are one of two cladistic features uniting anoles, yet little is known regarding their function and evolution. We quantified the diversity of anole dewlaps, investigated whether dewlap morphology was informative regarding phylogenetic relationships, and tested two separate hypotheses: (A similar Anolis habitat specialists possess similar dewlap configurations (Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis, and (B sympatric species differ in their dewlap morphologies to a greater extent than expected by chance (Species Recognition hypothesis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that dewlap configurations (sizes, patterns and colors exhibit substantial diversity, but that most are easily categorized into six patterns that incorporate one to three of 13 recognizable colors. Dewlap morphology is not phylogenetically informative and, like other features of anoles, exhibits convergence in configurations. We found no support for the Ecomorph Convergence hypothesis; species using the same structural habitat were no more similar in dewlap configuration than expected by chance. With one exception, all sympatric species in four communities differ in dewlap configuration. However, this provides only weak support for the Species Recognition hypothesis because, due to the great diversity in dewlap configurations observed across each island, few cases of sympatric species with identical dewlaps would be expected to co-occur by chance alone. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Despite previous thought, most dewlaps exhibit easily characterizable patterns and colorations. Nevertheless, dewlap variation is extensive and explanations for the origin and

  7. Microhabitat choice in island lizards enhances camouflage against avian predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Kate L A; Philpot, Kate E; Stevens, Martin

    2016-01-25

    Camouflage can often be enhanced by genetic adaptation to different local environments. However, it is less clear how individual behaviour improves camouflage effectiveness. We investigated whether individual Aegean wall lizards (Podarcis erhardii) inhabiting different islands rest on backgrounds that improve camouflage against avian predators. In free-ranging lizards, we found that dorsal regions were better matched against chosen backgrounds than against other backgrounds on the same island. This suggests that P. erhardii make background choices that heighten individual-specific concealment. In achromatic camouflage, this effect was more evident in females and was less distinct in an island population with lower predation risk. This suggests that behavioural enhancement of camouflage may be more important in females than in sexually competing males and related to predation risk. However, in an arena experiment, lizards did not choose the background that improved camouflage, most likely due to the artificial conditions. Overall, our results provide evidence that behavioural preferences for substrates can enhance individual camouflage of lizards in natural microhabitats, and that such adaptations may be sexually dimorphic and dependent on local environments. This research emphasizes the importance of considering links between ecology, behaviour, and appearance in studies of intraspecific colour variation and local adaptation.

  8. Modelling asymmetry in the peripheral auditory system of the lizard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Lei; Hallam, John; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    2008-01-01

    The ears of lizards are highly directional. The directionality is generated by strong acoustical coupling of the eardrums. A simple lumped-parameter model of the ear followed by binaural comparisons has been shown to perform successful phonotaxis in robot implementations. However, such a model...

  9. Technique for Measuring Speed and Visual Motion Sensitivity in Lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Kevin L.; Burke, Darren

    2008-01-01

    Testing sensory characteristics on herpetological species has been difficult due to a range of properties related to physiology, responsiveness, performance ability, and the type of reinforcer used. Using the Jacky lizard as a model, we outline a successfully established procedure in which to test the visual sensitivity to motion characteristics.…

  10. Comparative morphology of Liolaemus lizards precloacal glands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soledad Valdecantos

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Liolaemid lizards and amphisbaenids have precloacal pores in the anterior border of the cloaca, where epidermal glands drain and expel pheromonal secretions. Precloacal glands occur usually only in males, but in those few species where both sexes have precloacal glands, these are larger in males. Only the morphology and/or histology of precloacal glands of amphisbaenids have been described, and it is unknown whether in lizards these glands differ across ages, sexes and/or species, and if the lack of pores is associated with a lack of glands. We investigated for the first time the morphology and histology of lizard precloacal glands, by studying three Liolaemus species that differ in the presence of pores in their cloaca: L. irregularis, in which adults and juveniles of both sexes have pores; L. poecilochromus, in which only adult males have pores, and L. neuquensis, in which the adults of both sexes lack pores. Results show that the number of pores varies among species and sexes, but not between ages of a species. Adults, but not juveniles, of L. irregularis have sexual dimorphism in pore sizes; these are larger in males than in females. In addition, pores are larger in adult males of L. irregularis than in L. poecilochromus. Glands are tubuloalveolar with holocrine secretion, having similar structure across individuals, although adult males have larger glands than females and juveniles. Finally, the structure of Liolaemus precloacal glands is very similar to those of the amphisbaenid precloacal glands and the femoral glands of other lizard species.

  11. Ecology and behavior of the Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cruz, Alexander

    1975-01-01

    On Jamaica many of the endemic land birds are poorly known from an ecological and behavioral standpoint. Therefore, the following information on the food, foraging behavior, and habitats of the Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo Saurothera vetula), obtained while engaged in other studies, should be helpful in t

  12. A review of diagnostic imaging of snakes and lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banzato, T; Hellebuyck, T; Van Caelenberg, A; Saunders, J H; Zotti, A

    2013-07-13

    Snakes and lizards are considered 'stoic' animals and often show only non-specific signs of illness. Consequently, diagnostic imaging--along with clinical examination and laboratory tests--is gaining importance in making a final diagnosis and establishing a correct therapy. The large number of captive snake and lizard species commonly kept as pets, together with the high inter- and intraspecific morphological variability that is innate in these animals, make the analysis of diagnostic images challenging for the veterinary practitioner. Moreover, a thorough knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the species that are the object of clinical investigation is mandatory for the correct interpretation of diagnostic images. Despite the large amount of clinical and scientific work carried out in the past two decades, the radiographic features of snakes and lizards have not undergone systematic description, and therefore veterinarians often have to rely mostly on anatomical studies rather than radiological literature. The aim of this paper is to review the most commonly used diagnostic imaging modalities, as well as to provide an overview of the available international original studies and scientific reviews describing the normal and pathological imaging features in snakes and lizards.

  13. Structure and function of the hearts of lizards and snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Bjarke; Moorman, Antoon F M; Wang, Tobias

    2014-05-01

    With approximately 7000 species, snakes and lizards, collectively known as squamates, are by far the most species-rich group of reptiles. It was from reptile-like ancestors that mammals and birds evolved and squamates can be viewed as phylogenetically positioned between them and fishes. Hence, their hearts have been studied for more than a century yielding insights into the group itself and into the independent evolution of the fully divided four-chambered hearts of mammals and birds. Structurally the heart is complex and debates persist on rudimentary issues such as identifying structures critical to understanding ventricle function. In seeking to resolve these controversies we have generated three-dimensional (3D) models in portable digital format (pdf) of the anaconda and anole lizard hearts ('typical' squamate hearts) and the uniquely specialized python heart with comprehensive annotations of structures and cavities. We review the anatomy and physiology of squamate hearts in general and emphasize the unique features of pythonid and varanid lizard hearts that endow them with mammal-like blood pressures. Excluding pythons and varanid lizards it is concluded that the squamate heart has a highly consistent design including a disproportionately large right side (systemic venous) probably due to prevailing pulmonary bypass (intraventricular shunting). Unfortunately, investigations on rudimentary features are sparse. We therefore point out gaps in our knowledge, such as the size and functional importance of the coronary vasculature and of the first cardiac chamber, the sinus venosus, and highlight areas with implications for vertebrate cardiac evolution.

  14. Lizard\\'s fauna of the Sabzevar with particular emphasis on the syntopic lizard and presentation of a framework for reptile distribution of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoud Yousefi

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Sabzevar is one of the most biologically diverse regions in northeast Iran, with the area of 19500 km2 and an elevational of 950-2977 m. During a long term study of lizards in this area which lasted 3 years, 21 species and subspecies of lizards belonging to 13 genera and 5 families were collected, recognized and reported. The families Anguidae, Eublepharidae and Uromastycidae were not represented in the area. The genus Eremias with 6 species was the most diverse genus in Sabzevar district. More emphasis was given to the syntopic reptiles. This showed that Trapelus agailis with having 18 syntopic species and Cyrtopodion caspium with no syntopic species were in the extreme sides. Due to our little knowledge on the distribution of reptiles in Iran, we designed a framework for providing a reptile's distribution map in Iran.

  15. The decoupling of abundance and species richness in lizard communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, Dale G; James, Simon G; Kelly, Luke T; Watson, Simon J; Bennett, Andrew F

    2011-05-01

    1. Patterns of species richness often correlate strongly with measures of energy. The more individuals hypothesis (MIH) proposes that this relationship is facilitated by greater resources supporting larger populations, which are less likely to become extinct. Hence, the MIH predicts that community abundance and species richness will be positively related. 2. Recently, Buckley & Jetz (2010, Journal of Animal Ecology, 79, 358-365) documented a decoupling of community abundance and species richness in lizard communities in south-west United States, such that richer communities did not contain more individuals. They predicted, as a consequence of the mechanisms driving the decoupling, a more even distribution of species abundances in species-rich communities, evidenced by a positive relationship between species evenness and species richness. 3. We found a similar decoupling of the relationship between abundance and species richness for lizard communities in semi-arid south-eastern Australia. However, we note that a positive relationship between evenness and richness is expected because of the nature of the indices used. We illustrate this mathematically and empirically using data from both sets of lizard communities. When we used a measure of evenness, which is robust to species richness, there was no relationship between evenness and richness in either data set. 4. For lizard communities in both Australia and the United States, species dominance decreased as species richness increased. Further, with the iterative removal of the first, second and third most dominant species from each community, the relationship between abundance and species richness became increasingly more positive. 5. Our data support the contention that species richness in lizard communities is not directly related to the number of individuals an environment can support. We propose an alternative hypothesis regarding how the decoupling of abundance and richness is accommodated; namely, an inverse

  16. Condition-dependent chemosignals in reproductive behavior of lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, José; López, Pilar

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Many lizards have diverse glands that produce chemosignals used in intraspecific communication and that can have reproductive consequences. For example, information in chemosignals of male lizards can be used in intrasexual competition to identify and assess the fighting potential or dominance status of rival males either indirectly through territorial scent-marks or during agonistic encounters. Moreover, females of several lizard species "prefer" to establish or spend more time on areas scent-marked by males with compounds signaling a better health or body condition or a higher genetic compatibility, which can have consequences for their mating success and inter-sexual selection processes. We review here recent studies that suggest that the information content of chemosignals of lizards may be reliable because several physiological and endocrine processes would regulate the proportions of chemical compounds available for gland secretions. Because chemosignals are produced by the organism or come from the diet, they should reflect physiological changes, such as different hormonal levels (e.g. testosterone or corticosterone) or different health states (e.g. parasitic infections, immune response), and reflect the quality of the diet of an individual. More importantly, some compounds that may function as chemosignals also have other important functions in the organism (e.g. as antioxidants or regulating the immune system), so there could be trade-offs between allocating these compounds to attending physiological needs or to produce costly sexual "chemical ornaments". All these factors may contribute to maintain chemosignals as condition-dependent sexual signals, which can inform conspecifics on the characteristics and state of the sender and allow making behavioral decisions with reproductive consequences. To understand the evolution of chemical secretions of lizards as sexual signals and their

  17. African America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, Carolyn S.; Brown, Gloria

    1994-01-01

    Presents an annotated bibliography of quality materials by and about African Americans in the areas of poetry, music, folklore, women, picture books, history/collective biography, authors, and professional materials. Activities are suggested in each area for Black History Month. (LRW)

  18. Ocular anatomy and retinal photoreceptors in a skink, the sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    New, Shaun T D; Hemmi, Jan M; Kerr, Gregory D; Bull, C Michael

    2012-10-01

    The Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) is a large day-active skink which occupies stable overlapping home ranges and maintains long-term monogamous relationships. Its behavioral ecology has been extensively studied, making the sleepy lizard an ideal model for investigation of the lizard visual system and its specializations, for which relatively little is known. We examine the morphology, density, and distribution of retinal photoreceptors and describe the anatomy of the sleepy lizard eye. The sleepy lizard retina is composed solely of photoreceptors containing oil droplets, a characteristic of cones. Two groups could be distinguished; single cones and double cones, consistent with morphological descriptions of photoreceptors in other diurnal lizards. Although all photoreceptors were cone-like in morphology, a subset of photoreceptors displayed immunoreactivity to rhodopsin-the visual pigment of rods. This finding suggests that while the morphological properties of rod photoreceptors have been lost, photopigment protein composition has been conserved during evolutionary history.

  19. Genetic Analysis of Multiple Paternity in an Endangered Ovoviviparous Lizard Shinisaurus crocodilurus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Huayuan HUANG; Dan LUO; Cong Guo; Zhuo TANG; Zhengjun WU; Jinping CHEN

    2015-01-01

    The crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) is an ovoviviparous lizard belonging to a monotypic family that originated during the end of the quaternary ice age. A rare species in the wild, the crocodile lizard was listed in CITES Appendix Ⅱ . Knowledge of the reproductive biology and mating system of this species is important for designing conservation strategies and improving genetic variation. To investigate the paternity of the crocodile lizards and to interpret their reproductive behaviour, we collected saliva from females, potential fathers and offspring in a semi-natural enclosure experiment and analyzed the paternity of the crocodile lizard using 12 microsatellite genetic loci. The overall observed incidence of multiple paternity was 42.9% (6 of 14 clutches) and Fis was 0.089 ± 0.056. These results indicate that the primary mating mode of the crocodile lizard is that males are polygynous while with females are polyandrous, and there is multiple paternity among offspring of the same mother.

  20. Rock-dwelling lizards exhibit less sensitivity of sprint speed to increases in substrate rugosity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Clint E; Self, Jessica D; Anderson, Roger A; McBrayer, Lance D

    2013-06-01

    Effectively moving across variable substrates is important to all terrestrial animals. The effects of substrates on lizard performance have ecological ramifications including the partitioning of habitat according to sprinting ability on different surfaces. This phenomenon is known as sprint sensitivity, or the decrease in sprint speed due to change in substrate. However, sprint sensitivity has been characterized only in arboreal Anolis lizards. Our study measured sensitivity to substrate rugosity among six lizard species that occupy rocky, sandy, and/or arboreal habitats. Lizards that use rocky habitats are less sensitive to changes in substrate rugosity, followed by arboreal lizards, and then by lizards that use sandy habitats. We infer from comparative phylogenetic analysis that forelimb, chest, and tail dimensions are important external morphological features related to sensitivity to changes in substrate rugosity.

  1. Medical cautery units as a permanent and non-invasive method of marking lizards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Ekner

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The identification of previously captured individuals is essential for a wide variety of ecological and behavioural studies. A lot of different methods are used for marking lizards, however they have many drawbacks. In presented study we used heat-branding method, using pen-like medical cautery units, previously employed to successfully mark other lizard species and snakes. The technique is permanent, readable and harmless for lizards, as well quick and easy. In 2009 we marked 111 individuals of sand lizard, Lacerta agilis. Next year we caught 88 lizards, 17 of them were re-captured. Among these re-captured lizards, five were caught after 26.8 (± 16.3 days (means in the same year and 12 after 308.8 (± 64.3 days (means in the next year. Recaptured individuals were still unambiguously recognisable.

  2. Increased metal concentrations in giant sungazer lizards (Smaug giganteus) from mining areas in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Trevor; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-11-01

    Environmental contaminants from anthropogenic activity such as mining can have profound health effects on the animals living in adjacent areas. We investigated whether inorganic contaminants associated with gold-mining waste discharges were accumulated by a threatened species of lizard, Smaug giganteus, in South Africa. Lizards were sampled from two mining sites and two control sites. Blood samples from the most contaminated mining site had significantly greater concentrations of lithium, sodium, aluminum, sulfur, silicon, chromium, manganese, iron, nickel, copper, tungsten, and bismuth than the remaining sites. Contaminant concentrations were not significantly related to lizard body condition, although these relationships were consistently negative. The adult sex ratio of the population inhabiting the most contaminated site also deviated from an expected 1:1 ratio in favour of female lizards. We demonstrate that lizards at these mining sites contained high concentrations of heavy metals that may be imposing as yet poorly understood costs to these lizards.

  3. Are mountain habitats becoming more suitable for generalist than cold-adapted lizards thermoregulation?

    OpenAIRE

    Zaida Ortega; Abraham Mencía; Valentín Pérez-Mellado

    2016-01-01

    Mountain lizards are highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continuous warming of their habitats could be seriously threatening their survival. We aim to compare the thermal ecology and microhabitat selection of a mountain lizard, Iberolacerta galani, and a widely distributed lizard, Podarcis bocagei, in a montane area. Both species are currently in close syntopy in the study area, at 1,400 m above the sea level. We determined the precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulatio...

  4. New genus and species names for the Eocene lizard Cadurcogekko rugosus Augé, 2005.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolet, Arnau; Daza, Juan D; Augé, Marc; Bauer, Aaron M

    2015-07-10

    Cadurcogekko rugosus Augé, 2005 was described as a gekkotan lizard from the Eocene of France. A revision of the material has revealed that the holotype, a nearly complete dentary, actually belongs to a scincid lizard, for which we erect the new genus Gekkomimus. The rest of material originally referred to C. rugosus is of undoubted gekkotan nature and is included in the new species Cadurcogekko verus, with the exception of a partial left dentary belonging to the iguanid lizard Cadurciguana hoffstetteri.

  5. Enemy at the gates: Rapid defensive trait diversification in an adaptive radiation of lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broeckhoven, Chris; Diedericks, Genevieve; Hui, Cang; Makhubo, Buyisile G; Mouton, P le Fras N

    2016-11-01

    Adaptive radiation (AR), the product of rapid diversification of an ancestral species into novel adaptive zones, has become pivotal in our understanding of biodiversity. Although it has widely been accepted that predators may drive the process of AR by creating ecological opportunity (e.g., enemy-free space), the role of predators as selective agents in defensive trait diversification remains controversial. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we provide evidence for an "early burst" in the diversification of antipredator phenotypes in Cordylinae, a relatively small AR of morphologically diverse southern African lizards. The evolution of body armor appears to have been initially rapid, but slowed down over time, consistent with the ecological niche-filling model. We suggest that the observed "early burst" pattern could be attributed to shifts in vulnerability to different types of predators (i.e., aerial versus terrestrial) associated with thermal habitat partitioning. These results provide empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that predators or the interaction therewith might be key components of ecological opportunity, although the way in which predators influence morphological diversification requires further study.

  6. Genomic signals of diversification along ecological gradients in a tropical lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freedman, Adam H; Thomassen, Henri A; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B

    2010-09-01

    Studies of rainforest diversification that simultaneously consider the effects of genetic drift and natural selection are rare. We use Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism genome scans of the African rainforest lizard Trachylepis affinis from Cameroon to examine the spatial patterns and environmental associations of both neutrally evolving loci and those thought to be under selection. Bayesian selection scans revealed that approximately 7% of the genome may be under divergent selection. Using non-linear environmental modelling techniques, we fit patterns of genetic differentiation recovered from the pooled neutral data and from individual loci showing a signature of natural selection. Neutral differentiation occurred along a cline from coastal lowland rainforest inland toward the gallery forests-savanna mosaic (ecotone), and was associated with both geographic distance and changing precipitation patterns. Loci under selection were differentiated predominantly along the forest-ecotone gradient-in concordance with morphological divergence in traits related to fitness. A second set of these loci was differentiated between lowland and montane habitats. A third set of loci was indicative of divergent selection between rainforest refugia. Niche models and demographic signals in mitochondrial sequence data support a population expansion out of a core rainforest area into savanna since the last glacial maximum. Our findings indicate adaptive diversification in T. affinis may be taking place along the forest-ecotone gradient during range expansions or contractions, and that refugial isolation augmented by divergent adaptation to different rainforest environments appears to play a less significant role.

  7. African-American Biography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Ron

    1995-01-01

    Suggests sources of information for African American History Month for library media specialists who work with students in grades four through eight. Gale Research's "African-American Reference Library," which includes "African-America Biography,""African-American Chronology," and "African-American Almanac,"…

  8. Advantages in exploring a new environment with the left eye in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonati, Beatrice; Csermely, Davide; Sovrano, Valeria Anna

    2013-07-01

    Lizards (Podarcis muralis) preferentially use the left eye during spatial exploration in a binocular condition. Here we allowed 44 adult wild lizards to explore an unknown maze for 20 min under a temporary monocular condition whilst recording their movements, particularly the direction of turns made whilst walking within the maze. Lizards with a patch on their right eye, i.e. using their left eye to monitor the environment, moved faster than lizards with a patch on their left eye when turning both leftward and rightward in a T-cross. Hence, right eye-patched lizards were faster than left eye-patched lizards also in turning right, although their right eye was covered. Thus, lizards that could use the left eye/right hemisphere to attend spatial cues appeared to have more control and to be more prompt in exploring the maze. In addition, female lizards with their left eye covered stopped very frequently when they reached crosses, showing a high level of indecision. Results confirm that P. muralis lizards using their left eye only in exploring a new environment react faster and more efficiently than those using the right eye only in exploration. Hence lateralisation of spatial stimuli mediated by the left eye/right hemisphere could provide an advantage to this species.

  9. African Trypanosomiasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-01

    Histol. 1977;375:53- 70. 42. Poltera AA, Owor R, Cox JN. Pathological aspects of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) in Uganda. A post - mortem survey of...nodular lesions , including anthrax or tick bite associated with Rickettsia conorii infection. The chancre is followed by a hemolymphatic stage, dur- ing...electrocardiograph- ic changes and, at times, terminal cardiac insufficiency.41 Pulmonary lesions specifically related to trypanosomiasis are not

  10. Obesity and African Americans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Data > Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Obesity Obesity and African Americans African American women have the ... ss6304.pdf [PDF | 3.38MB] HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY More than 80 percent of people with type ...

  11. Colorful displays signal male quality in a tropical anole lizard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Ellee G.; Murphy, Troy G.; Johnson, Michele A.

    2013-10-01

    Parasites influence colorful ornaments and their behavioral display in many animal hosts. Because coloration and display behavior are often critical components of communication, variation in these traits may have important implications for individual fitness, yet it remains unclear whether such traits are signals of quality in many taxa. We investigated the association between ectoparasitic mite load and the color and behavioral use of the throat fan (dewlap) by male Anolis brevirostris lizards. We found that heavily parasitized lizards exhibited lower body condition, duller dewlaps, and less frequent dewlap displays than less parasitized individuals. Our results thus suggest that highly parasitized individuals invest less in both ornamental color and behavioral display of that color. Because the two components of the signal simultaneously provide information on male quality, this study provides novel support for the long-standing hypothesis that colorful traits may function as social or sexual signals in reptiles.

  12. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the brazilian coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C F D; Vrcibradic, D; Kiefer, M C; Menezes, V A; Fontes, A F; Hatano, F H; Galdino, C A B; Bergallo, H G; Van Sluys, M

    2014-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation is well known to adversely affect species living in the remaining, relatively isolated, habitat patches, especially for those having small range size and low density. This negative effect has been critical in coastal resting habitats. We analysed the lizard composition and richness of restinga habitats in 16 restinga habitats encompassing three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia) and more than 1500km of the Brazilian coast in order to evaluate if the loss of lizard species following habitat reduction occur in a nested pattern or at random, using the "Nestedness Temperature Calculator" to analyse the distribution pattern of lizard species among the restingas studied. We also estimated the potential capacity that each restinga has to maintain lizard species. Eleven lizard species were recorded in the restingas, although not all species occurred in all areas. The restinga with the richest lizard fauna was Guriri (eight species) whereas the restinga with the lowest richness was Praia do Sul (located at Ilha Grande, a large coastal island). Among the restingas analysed, Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves, were the most hospitable for lizards. The matrix community temperature of the lizard assemblages was 20.49° (= P lizard assemblages in the coastal restingas exhibited a considerable nested structure. The degree in which an area is hospitable for different assemblages could be used to suggest those with greater value of conservation. We concluded that lizard assemblages in coastal restingas occur at a considerable level of ordination in restinga habitats and that some restinga areas such as Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves are quite important to preserve lizard diversity of restinga environments.

  13. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the brazilian coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CFD. Rocha

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation is well known to adversely affect species living in the remaining, relatively isolated, habitat patches, especially for those having small range size and low density. This negative effect has been critical in coastal resting habitats. We analysed the lizard composition and richness of restinga habitats in 16 restinga habitats encompassing three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia and more than 1500km of the Brazilian coast in order to evaluate if the loss of lizard species following habitat reduction occur in a nested pattern or at random, using the “Nestedness Temperature Calculator” to analyse the distribution pattern of lizard species among the restingas studied. We also estimated the potential capacity that each restinga has to maintain lizard species. Eleven lizard species were recorded in the restingas, although not all species occurred in all areas. The restinga with the richest lizard fauna was Guriri (eight species whereas the restinga with the lowest richness was Praia do Sul (located at Ilha Grande, a large coastal island. Among the restingas analysed, Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves, were the most hospitable for lizards. The matrix community temperature of the lizard assemblages was 20.49° (= P <0.00001; 5000 randomisations; randomisation temperature = 51.45° ± 7.18° SD, indicating that lizard assemblages in the coastal restingas exhibited a considerable nested structure. The degree in which an area is hospitable for different assemblages could be used to suggest those with greater value of conservation. We concluded that lizard assemblages in coastal restingas occur at a considerable level of ordination in restinga habitats and that some restinga areas such as Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves are quite important to preserve lizard diversity of restinga environments.

  14. Morphology of the feeding system in agamid lizards: ecological correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrel, A; Aerts, P; Fret, J; de Vree, F

    1999-04-01

    The interaction of organismal design with ecology, and its evolutionary development are the subject of many functional and ecomorphological studies. Many studies have shown that the morphology and mechanics of the masticatory apparatus in mammals are adapted to diet. To investigate the relations between diet and the morphological and physiological properties of the lizard jaw system, a detailed analysis of the structure of the jaw apparatus was undertaken in the insectivorous lizard Plocederma stellio and in closely related herbivorous lizards of the genus Uromastix. The morphological and physiological properties of the jaw system in P. stellio and U. aegyptius were studied by means of dissections, light microscopy, histochemical characterisations, and in vivo stimulation experiments. The skull of Uromastix seems to be built for forceful biting (high, short snout). Additionally, the pterygoid muscle is modified in P. stellio, resulting in an additional force component during static biting. Stimulation experiments indicate that jaw muscles in both species are fast, which is supported by histochemical stainings. However, the oxidative capacity of the jaw muscles is larger in Uromastix. Contraction characteristics and performance of the feeding system (force output) are clearly thermally dependent. We conclude that several characteristics of the jaw system (presence of extra portion of the pterygoid muscle, large oxidative capacity of jaw muscles) in Uromastix may be attributed to its herbivorous diet. Jaw muscles, however, are still faster than expected. This is presumably the result of trade-offs between the thermal characteristics of the jaw adductors and the herbivorous lifestyle of these animals.

  15. Behavioural flexibility and problem-solving in a tropical lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Manuel; Powell, Brian J

    2012-02-23

    The role of behavioural flexibility in responding to new or changing environmental challenges is a central theme in cognitive ecology. Studies of behavioural flexibility have focused mostly on mammals and birds because theory predicts that behavioural flexibility is favoured in species or clades that exploit a diversity of habitats or food sources and/or have complex social structure, attributes not associated with ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we present the results of a series of experiments designed to test cognitive abilities across multiple cognitive modules in a tropical arboreal lizard: Anolis evermanni. This lizard shows behavioural flexibility across multiple cognitive tasks, including solving a novel motor task using multiple strategies and reversal learning, as well as rapid associative learning. This flexibility was unexpected because lizards are commonly believed to have limited cognitive abilities and highly stereotyped behaviour. Our findings indicate that the cognitive abilities of A. evermanni are comparable with those of some endothermic species that are recognized to be highly flexible, and strongly suggest a re-thinking of our understanding of the cognitive abilities of ectothermic tetrapods and of the factors favouring the evolution of behavioural flexibility.

  16. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards.

  17. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Daza, Juan D.; Simões, Tiago R.; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-09-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa.

  18. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Daza, Juan D; Simões, Tiago R; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-09-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa.

  19. Remote sensing as a tool to analyse lizards behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Santos, Remi; Teodoro, Ana C.; Carretero, Miguel; Sillero, Neftalí

    2016-10-01

    Although the spatial context is expected to be a major influence in the interactions among organisms and their environment, it is commonly ignored in ecological studies. This study is part of an investigation on home ranges and their influence in the escape behaviour of Iberian lizards. Fieldwork was conducted inside a 400 m2 mesocosm, using three acclimatized adult male individuals. In order to perform analyses at this local scale, tools with high spatial accuracy are needed. A total of 3016 GPS points were recorded and processed into a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), with a pixel resolution of 2 cm. Then, 1156 aerial photos were taken and processed to create an orthophoto. A refuge map, containing possible locations for retreats was generated with supervised image classification algorithms, obtaining four classes (refuges, vegetation, bare soil and organic soil). Furthermore, 50 data-loggers were randomly placed, recording evenly through the area temperature and humidity every 15'. After a month of recording, all environmental variables were interpolated using Kriging. The study area presented an irregular elevation. The humidity varied according to the topography and the temperature presented a West-East pattern. Both variables are of paramount importance for lizard activity and performance. In a predation risk scenario, a lizard located in a temperature close to its thermal optimum will be able to escape more efficiently. Integration of such ecologically relevant elements in a spatial context exemplifies how remote sensing tools can contribute to improve inference in behavioural ecology.

  20. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daza, Juan D.; Simões, Tiago R.; Rage, Jean Claude

    2016-01-01

    The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from that continent. The new taxon comes from the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and is based on a partial lower jaw. The new taxon presents a number of features that are found only among acrodontan lizards and shares greatest similarities with uromastycines, specifically. In a combined evidence phylogenetic dataset comprehensive of all major acrodontan lineages using multiple tree inference methods (traditional and implied weighting maximum-parsimony, and Bayesian inference), we found support for the placement of the new species within uromastycines, along with Gueragama sulamericana (Late Cretaceous of Brazil). The new fossil supports the previously hypothesized widespread geographical distribution of acrodontans in Gondwana during the Mesozoic. Additionally, it provides the first fossil evidence of uromastycines in the Cretaceous, and the ancestry of acrodontan iguanians in Africa. PMID:27703708

  1. Age-dependent social learning in a lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Daniel W A; Byrne, Richard W; Whiting, Martin J

    2014-07-01

    Evidence of social learning, whereby the actions of an animal facilitate the acquisition of new information by another, is taxonomically biased towards mammals, especially primates, and birds. However, social learning need not be limited to group-living animals because species with less interaction can still benefit from learning about potential predators, food sources, rivals and mates. We trained male skinks (Eulamprus quoyii), a mostly solitary lizard from eastern Australia, in a two-step foraging task. Lizards belonging to 'young' and 'old' age classes were presented with a novel instrumental task (displacing a lid) and an association task (reward under blue lid). We did not find evidence for age-dependent learning of the instrumental task; however, young males in the presence of a demonstrator learnt the association task faster than young males without a demonstrator, whereas old males in both treatments had similar success rates. We present the first evidence of age-dependent social learning in a lizard and suggest that the use of social information for learning may be more widespread than previously believed.

  2. 75 FR 9377 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Flat-Tailed Horned Lizard as Threatened

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-02

    ... Flat- Tailed Horned Lizard as Threatened AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION..., proposed rule to list the flat-tailed horned lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii) as threatened under the Endangered..., 1993 (58 FR 62624), to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as a threatened species, and reopens...

  3. Tests of the contribution of acclimation to geographic variation in water loss rates of the West Indian lizard Anolis cristatellus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunderson, Alex R; Siegel, Jeremy; Leal, Manuel

    2011-10-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can contribute to the process of adaptive radiation by facilitating population persistence in novel environments. West Indian Anolis lizards provide a classic example of an adaptive radiation, in which divergence has occurred along two primary ecological axes: structural microhabitat and climate. Adaptive plasticity in limb morphology is hypothesized to have facilitated divergence along the structural niche axis in Anolis, but very little work has explored plasticity in physiological traits. Here, we experimentally ask whether Puerto Rican Anolis cristatellus from mesic and xeric habitats differ in desiccation rates, and whether these lizards exhibit an acclimation response to changes in relative humidity. We first present microclimatic data collected at lizard perch sites that demonstrate that abiotic conditions experienced by lizards differ between mesic and xeric habitat types. In Experiment 1, we measured desiccation rates of lizards from both habitats maintained under identical laboratory conditions. This experiment demonstrated that desiccation rates differ between populations; xeric lizards lose water more slowly than mesic lizards. In Experiment 2, lizards from each habitat were either maintained under the conditions of Experiment 1, or under extremely low relative humidity. Desiccation rates did not differ between lizards from the same habitat maintained under different treatments and xeric lizards maintained lower desiccation rates than mesic lizards within each treatment. Our results demonstrate that A. cristatellus does not exhibit an acclimation response to abrupt changes of hydric conditions, and suggest that tropical Anolis lizards might be unable to exhibit physiological plasticity in desiccation rates in response to varying climatic conditions.

  4. Predicting micro thermal habitat of lizards in a dynamic thermal environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fei, T.; Skidmore, A.K.; Venus, V.; Wang, T.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Bian, B.M.; Liu, Y.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding behavioural thermoregulation and its consequences is a central topic in ecology. In this study, a spatial explicit model was developed to simulate the movement and thermal habitat use of lizards in a controlled environment. The model incorporates a lizard's transient body temperatures

  5. A new scincid lizard of the genus Tribolonotus from Manus Island, New Guinea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cogger, H.G.

    1972-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The scincid lizards of the genus Tribolonotus are generally dull-coloured, armoured, thigmothermic, cryptozoic lizards with several unique features in their morphology and biology. These features include the possession of abdominal glands and volar pores, a vestigial left oviduct, the p

  6. Impact of the experimental removal of lizards on Lyme disease risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swei, Andrea; Ostfeld, Richard S; Lane, Robert S; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2011-10-07

    The distribution of vector meals in the host community is an important element of understanding and predicting vector-borne disease risk. Lizards (such as the western fence lizard; Sceloporus occidentalis) play a unique role in Lyme disease ecology in the far-western United States. Lizards rather than mammals serve as the blood meal hosts for a large fraction of larval and nymphal western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus--the vector for Lyme disease in that region) but are not competent reservoirs for the pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Prior studies have suggested that the net effect of lizards is to reduce risk of human exposure to Lyme disease, a hypothesis that we tested experimentally. Following experimental removal of lizards, we documented incomplete host switching by larval ticks (5.19%) from lizards to other hosts. Larval tick burdens increased on woodrats, a competent reservoir, but not on deer mice, a less competent pathogen reservoir. However, most larvae failed to find an alternate host. This resulted in significantly lower densities of nymphal ticks the following year. Unexpectedly, the removal of reservoir-incompetent lizards did not cause an increase in nymphal tick infection prevalence. The net result of lizard removal was a decrease in the density of infected nymphal ticks, and therefore a decreased risk to humans of Lyme disease. Our results indicate that an incompetent reservoir for a pathogen may, in fact, increase disease risk through the maintenance of higher vector density and therefore, higher density of infected vectors.

  7. Statistical properties of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in one bird and three lizard species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    vanDijk, P; Manley, GA; Gallo, L; Pavusa, A; Taschenberger, G

    1996-01-01

    Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions were recorded in the barn owl Tyto alba guttata (five ears), and in three lizard species (Callopistes maculatus, one ear; Varanus exanthematicus, seven ears; Gerrhonotus leiocephalus, one ear). The barn owl ears emitted one or two emission frequencies; the lizard ea

  8. Looking at a predator with the left or right eye: asymmetry of response in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonati, Beatrice; Csermely, Davide; Sovrano, Valeria Anna

    2013-01-01

    Studies carried out with the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) revealed preferential use of the left eye during responses to predatory threat in laboratory settings and in the wild. Here we tested lizards under monocular conditions of vision, using temporary eye-patching. Lizards were facing a (simulated) predatory threat laterally, from the side of the non-patched eye. Results showed that lizards with the left eye uncovered during predatory threat used the left eye to monitor the predator, whereas lizards with the right eye uncovered nonetheless tried to use the covered left eye. Moreover, lizards frequently tried to change the eye exposition, making a body C-bend behaviour. Right-eyed lizards showed more frequent and faster C-bending responses than left-eyed lizards, trying to monitor the predator with the left eye even though it was patched. Results fit with asymmetries in spontaneous eye use observed in laboratory conditions and in the wild in this species, confirming that structures located on the right side of the brain (mainly served by the left eye) predominantly attend to predatory threat.

  9. Stable isotope analysis of diet confirms niche separation of two sympatric species of Namib Desert lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Ian W; Lease, Hilary M; Hetem, Robyn S; Mitchell, Duncan; Fuller, Andrea; Woodborne, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    We used stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to study the trophic niche of two species of insectivorous lizards, the Husab sand lizard Pedioplanis husabensis and Bradfield's Namib day gecko living sympatrically in the Namib Desert. We measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in lizard blood tissues with different turnover times (whole blood, red blood cells and plasma) to investigate lizard diet in different seasons. We also measured the δ(13) C and δ(15) N ratios in available arthropod prey and plant tissues on the site, to identify the avenues of nutrient movement between lizards and their prey. Through the use of stable isotope mixing models, we found that the two lizard species relied on a largely non-overlapping but seasonally variable array of arthropods: P. husabensis primarily fed on termites, beetles and wasps, while R. bradfieldi fed mainly on ants, wasps and hemipterans. Nutrients originating from C3 plants were proportionally higher for R. bradfieldi than for P. husabensis during autumn and late autumn/early winter, although not summer. Contrary to the few available data estimating the trophic transfer of nutrients in ectotherms in mixed C3 and C4 /crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant landscapes, we found that our lizard species primarily acquired nutrients that originated from C4 /CAM plants. This work adds an important dimension to the general lack of studies using stable isotope analyses to estimate lizard niche partitioning and resource use.

  10. Geographic genetic differentiation of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricke, Jennifer M; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J

    2010-04-01

    Gene flow, and resulting degree of genetic differentiation among populations, will shape geographic genetic patterns and possibly local adaptation of parasites and their hosts. Some studies of Plasmodium falciparum in humans show substantial differentiation of the parasite in locations separated by only a few kilometers, a paradoxical finding for a parasite in a large, mobile host. We examined genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis, at 8 sites in northern California, with the use of variable microsatellite markers for both species. These lizards are small and highly territorial, so we expected local genetic differentiation of both parasite and lizard. Populations of P. mexicanum were found to be differentiated by analysis of 5 markers (F(st) values >0.05-0.10) over distances as short as 230-400 m, and greatly differentiated (F(st) values >0.25) for sites separated by approximately 10 km. In contrast, the lizard host had no, or very low, levels of differentiation for 3 markers, even for sites >40 km distant. Thus, gene flow for the lizard was great, but despite the mobility of the vertebrate host, the parasite was locally genetically distinct. This discrepancy could result if infected lizards move little, but their noninfected relatives were more mobile. Previous studies on the virulence of P. mexicanum for fence lizards support this hypothesis. However, changing prevalence of the parasite, without changes in density of the lizard, could also result in this pattern.

  11. 76 FR 19304 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-07

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 RIN 1018-AV97 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed... rule to list the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) under the Endangered Species Act...

  12. Change your diet or die: predator-induced shifts in insectivorous lizard feeding ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawlena, Dror; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2009-08-01

    Animal feeding ecology and diet are influenced by the fear of predation. While the mechanistic bases for such changes are well understood, technical difficulties often prevent testing how these mechanisms interact to affect a mesopredator's diet in natural environments. Here, we compared the insectivorous lizard Acanthodactylus beershebensis' feeding ecology and diet between high- and low-risk environments, using focal observations, intensive trapping effort and fecal pellet analysis. To create spatial variation in predation risk, we planted "artificial trees" in a scrubland habitat that lacks natural perches, allowing avian predators to hunt for lizards in patches that were previously unavailable to them. Lizards in elevated-risk environments became less mobile but did not change their microhabitat use or temporal activity. These lizards changed their diet, consuming smaller prey and less plant material. We suggest that diet shifts were mainly because lizards from risky environments consumed prey items that required shorter handling time.

  13. Effect of temperature on feeding period of larval blacklegged ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on eastern fence lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rulison, Eric L.; LeBrun, Roger A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    Ambient temperature can influence tick development time, and can potentially affect tick interactions with pathogens and with vertebrate hosts. We studied the effect of ambient temperature on duration of attachment of larval blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say, to eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus (Bose & Daudin). Feeding periods of larvae that attached to lizards under preferred temperature conditions for the lizards (WARM treatment: temperatures averaged 36.6°C at the top of the cage and 25.8°C at the bottom, allowing behavioral thermoregulation) were shorter than for larvae on lizards held under cool conditions (COOL treatment temperatures averaged 28.4°C at top of cage and 24.9°C at the bottom). The lizards were infested with larvae four times at roughly monthly intervals. Larval numbers successfully engorging and dropping declined and feeding period was longer after the first infestation.

  14. The lizard celestial compass detects linearly polarized light in the blue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltrami, Giulia; Parretta, Antonio; Petrucci, Ferruccio; Buttini, Paola; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foà, Augusto

    2012-09-15

    The present study first examined whether ruin lizards, Podarcis sicula, are able to orientate using plane-polarized light produced by an LCD screen. Ruin lizards were trained and tested indoors, inside a hexagonal Morris water maze positioned under an LCD screen producing white polarized light with a single E-vector, which provided an axial cue. White polarized light did not include wavelengths in the UV. Lizards orientated correctly either when tested with E-vector parallel to the training axis or after 90 deg rotation of the E-vector direction, thus validating the apparatus. Further experiments examined whether there is a preferential region of the light spectrum to perceive the E-vector direction of polarized light. For this purpose, lizards reaching learning criteria under white polarized light were subdivided into four experimental groups. Each group was tested for orientation under a different spectrum of plane-polarized light (red, green, cyan and blue) with equalized photon flux density. Lizards tested under blue polarized light orientated correctly, whereas lizards tested under red polarized light were completely disoriented. Green polarized light was barely discernible by lizards, and thus insufficient for a correct functioning of their compass. When exposed to cyan polarized light, lizard orientation performances were optimal, indistinguishable from lizards detecting blue polarized light. Overall, the present results demonstrate that perception of linear polarization in the blue is necessary - and sufficient - for a proper functioning of the sky polarization compass of ruin lizards. This may be adaptively important, as detection of polarized light in the blue improves functioning of the polarization compass under cloudy skies, i.e. when the alternative celestial compass based on detection of the sun disk is rendered useless because the sun is obscured by clouds.

  15. Thermal dependence of sprint performance in the lizard Psammodromus algirus along a 2200-meter elevational gradient: Cold-habitat lizards do not perform better at low temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora-Camacho, Francisco Javier; Rubiño-Hispán, María Virtudes; Reguera, Senda; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2015-08-01

    Sprint speed has a capital relevance in most animals' fitness, mainly for fleeing from predators. Sprint performance is maximal within a certain range of body temperatures in ectotherms, whose thermal upkeep relies on exogenous thermal sources. Ectotherms can respond to diverse thermal environments either by shifting their thermal preferences or maintaining them through different adaptive mechanisms. Here, we tested whether maximum sprint speed of a lizard that shows conservative thermal ecology along a 2200-meter elevational gradient differs with body temperature in lizards from different elevations. Lizards ran faster at optimum than at suboptimum body temperature. Notably, high-elevation lizards were not faster than mid- and low-elevation lizards at suboptimum body temperature, despite their low-quality thermal environment. This result suggests that both preferred body temperature and thermal dependence of speed performance are co-adapted along the elevational gradient. High-elevation lizards display a number of thermoregulatory strategies that allow them to achieve high optimum body temperatures in a low thermal-quality habitat and thus maximize speed performance. As for reproductive condition, we did not find any effect of it on sprint speed, or any significant interaction with elevation or body temperature. However, strikingly, gravid females were significantly slower than males and non-gravid females at suboptimum temperature, but performed similarly well at optimal temperature.

  16. Multilocus phylogenetic and geospatial analyses illuminate diversification patterns and the biogeographic history of Malagasy endemic plated lizards (Gerrhosauridae: Zonosaurinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, C; Noonan, B P; Brown, J L; Raselimanana, A P; Vences, M; Yoder, A D

    2015-02-01

    Although numerous studies have attempted to find single unifying mechanisms for generating Madagascar's unique flora and fauna, little consensus has been reached regarding the relative importance of climatic, geologic and ecological processes as catalysts of diversification of the region's unique biota. Rather, recent work has shown that both biological and physical drivers of diversification are best analysed in a case-by-case setting with attention focused on the ecological and life-history requirements of the specific phylogenetic lineage under investigation. Here, we utilize a comprehensive analytical approach to examine evolutionary drivers and elucidate the biogeographic history of Malagasy plated lizards (Zonosaurinae). Data from three genes are combined with fossil information to construct time-calibrated species trees for zonosaurines and their African relatives, which are used to test alternative diversification hypotheses. Methods are utilized for explicitly incorporating phylogenetic uncertainty into downstream analyses. Species distribution models are created for 14 of 19 currently recognized species, which are then used to estimate spatial patterns of species richness and endemicity. Spatially explicit analyses are employed to correlate patterns of diversity with both topographic heterogeneity and climatic stability through geologic time. We then use inferred geographic ranges to estimate the biogeographic history of zonosaurines within each of Madagascar's major biomes. Results suggest constant Neogene and Quaternary speciation with divergence from the African most recent common ancestor ~30 million years ago when oceanic currents and African rivers facilitated dispersal. Spatial patterns of diversity appear concentrated along coastal regions of northern and southern Madagascar. We find no relationship between either topographic heterogeneity or climatic stability and patterns of diversity. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest that western dry

  17. Body Size and Reproductive Tactics in Varanid lizards

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yu DU; Longhui LIN; Yuntao YAO; Chixian LIN; Xiang JI

    2014-01-01

    Body size and female reproduction in the water monitor lizard(Varanus salvator) were studied. Forty-two adult females larger than 500 mm SVL and 32 adult males larger than 400 mm SVL were donated by local people in Ledong, Hainan under permit to our laboratory in Hainan in 2013 and 2014. The largest male and female measured 745 and 755 mm SVL, respectively. The mean SVL was greater in adult females than in adult males. Males had larger heads (head width) than females of the same SVL. The smallest reproductive female in our sample was 565 mm SVL. Females produced a single clutch of 17.1 (10−23) pliable-shelled eggs per breeding season stretching from mid-June and mid-September. Clutch size and clutch mass were all positively related to female SVL. However, there was no signiifcant linear relationship between egg mass and female SVL. Larger females generally produced more eggs, and thus heavier clutches than did smaller ones. There was no signiifcant linear relationship between relative clutch mass and female SVL. Phylogenetic generalized least squares (PGLS) analysis, accounting for phylogenetic relationships, showed that clutch size was positively correlated with mean maternal SVL in varanid lizards. PGLS analysis showed that phylogenetic relationships did not affect clutch (or/and egg) mass and the SVL although there were significant linear relationship between clutch (or/and egg) mass and mean maternal SVL. Therefore, we could draw some general conclusions about the body size and reproductive tactics in varanid lizards that larger females generally produced more eggs, larger eggs and thus heavier clutches than did smaller ones.

  18. Chasing the Patagonian sun: comparative thermal biology of Liolaemus lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azócar, Débora Lina Moreno; Vanhooydonck, Bieke; Bonino, Marcelo F; Perotti, M Gabriela; Abdala, Cristian S; Schulte, James A; Cruz, Félix B

    2013-04-01

    The importance of the thermal environment for ectotherms and its relationship with thermal physiology and ecology is widely recognized. Several models have been proposed to explain the evolution of the thermal biology of ectotherms, but experimental studies have provided mixed support. Lizards from the Liolaemus goetschi group can be found along a wide latitudinal range across Argentina. The group is monophyletic and widely distributed, and therefore provides excellent opportunities to study the evolution of thermal biology. We studied thermal variables of 13 species of the L. goetschi group, in order to answer three questions. First, are aspects of the thermal biology of the L. goetschi group modelled by the environment or are they evolutionarily conservative? Second, have thermal characteristics of these animals co-evolved? And third, how do the patterns of co-evolution observed within the L. goetschi group compare to those in a taxonomically wider selection of species of Liolaemus? We collected data on 13 focal species and used species information of Liolaemus lizards available in the literature and additional data obtained by the authors. We tackled these questions using both conventional and phylogenetically based analyses. Our results show that lizards from the L. goetschi group and the genus Liolaemus in general vary in critical thermal minimum in relation to mean air temperature, and particularly the L. goetschi group shows that air temperature is associated with critical thermal range, as well as with body temperature. Although the effect of phylogeny cannot be ignored, our results indicate that these thermal biology aspects are modelled by cold environments of Patagonia, while other aspects (preferred body temperature and critical thermal maximum) are more conservative. We found evidence of co-evolutionary patterns between critical thermal minimum and preferred body temperature at both phylogenetic scales (the L. goetschi group and the extended sample of

  19. Sexual differences in behavioral thermoregulation of the lizard Scelarcis perspicillata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-10-01

    Temperature determines all aspects of the biology of ectotherms. Although sexual differences in thermal ecology are not the rule in lizards, some species exhibit such differences. We studied the effect of sex and reproductive condition on the thermoregulation of an introduced population of Scelarcis perspicillata during the summer in Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain). These lizards live in the wall surfaces of a limestone quarry, where the sun is scarce because of the narrowness of the quarry walls. The population is sexually dimorphic, with larger males than females. We measured body temperature (Tb) of adult males and females in the field, and air (Ta) and substrate temperature (Ts) at the capture sites, and recorded exposure to sunlight, height of the perch, and type of substrate. We also recorded operative temperatures (Te) as a null hypothesis of thermoregulation. Finally, we studied the thermal preferences of adult males and females in a laboratory thermal gradient. Thermal preferences were similar for pregnant and non-pregnant females, and sex did not affect the thermal preferences of lizards, even after controlling for the effect of body size. However, in the field, females achieved higher Tb than males, and occupied microhabitats with higher Ta and Ts and lower perch heights than males. Furthermore, females selected perches in full sun at a higher frequency than males. As a consequence, females achieved a higher accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.89) than males (0.84). Thus, all else being equal, females would achieve a higher performance than males. The observed results are attributable to sexual differences in behaviour, probably in relation with the reproductive season.

  20. Telling tails: selective pressures acting on investment in lizard tails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Patricia A; Valentine, Leonie E; Bateman, Philip W

    2013-01-01

    Caudal autotomy is a common defense mechanism in lizards, where the animal may lose part or all of its tail to escape entrapment. Lizards show an immense variety in the degree of investment in a tail (i.e., length) across species, with tails of some species up to three or four times body length (snout-vent length [SVL]). Additionally, body size and form also vary dramatically, including variation in leg development and robustness and length of the body and tail. Autotomy is therefore likely to have fundamentally different effects on the overall body form and function in different species, which may be reflected directly in the incidence of lost/regenerating tails within populations or, over a longer period, in terms of relative tail length for different species. We recorded data (literature, museum specimens, field data) for relative tail length (n=350 species) and the incidence of lost/regenerating tails (n=246 species). We compared these (taking phylogeny into account) with intrinsic factors that have been proposed to influence selective pressures acting on caudal autotomy, including body form (robustness, body length, leg development, and tail specialization) and ecology (foraging behavior, physical and temporal niches), in an attempt to identify patterns that might reflect adaptive responses to these different factors. More gracile species have relatively longer tails (all 350 spp., P lizards (all 246 spp., P < 0.01; Scindidae, P < 0.05), larger skinks (P < 0.05), climbing geckos (P < 0.05), or active-foraging iguanids (P < 0.05). The selective advantage of investing in a relatively longer tail may be due to locomotor mechanics, although the patterns observed are also largely consistent with predictions based on predation pressure.

  1. Effects of Cadmium on the Glial Architecture in Lizard Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favorito, Rossana; Monaco, Antonio; Grimaldi, Maria C.; Ferrandino, Ida

    2017-01-01

    The glial cells are positioned to be the first cells of the brain parenchyma to face molecules crossing the blood-brain barrier with a relevant neuroprotective role from cytotoxic action of heavy metals on the nervous system. Cadmium is a highly toxic metal and its levels in the environment are increasing due to industrial activities. This element can pass the blood-brain barrier and have neurotoxic activity. For this reason we have studied the effects of cadmium on the glial architecture in the lizard Podarcis siculus, a significant bioindicator of chemical exposure due to its persistence in a variety of habitats. The study was performed on two groups of lizards. The first group of P. siculus was exposed to an acute treatment by a single i.p. injection (2 mg/kg-BW) of CdCl2 and sacrificed after 2, 7 and 16 days. The second one was used as control. The histology of the brain was studied by Hematoxylin/Eosin and Cresyl/Violet stains while the glial structures were analyzed by immunodetection of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), the most widely accepted marker for astroglial cells. Evident morphological alterations of the brain were observed at 7 and 16 days from the injection, when we revealed also a decrease of the GFAP-immunopositive structures in particular in the rhombencephalic ventricle, telencephalon and optic tectum. These results show that in the lizards an acute exposure to cadmium provokes morphological cellular alterations in the brain but also a decrement of the expression of GFAP marker with possible consequent damage of glial cells functions.

  2. Sexual dimorphism in digit length ratios in two lizard species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubolini, Diego; Pupin, Fabio; Sacchi, Roberto; Gentilli, Augusto; Zuffi, Marco A L; Galeotti, Paolo; Saino, Nicola

    2006-05-01

    Sexual dimorphism in digit length ratios has been reported for humans, a few other mammals, and two bird species. This dimorphism is thought to arise via an interaction between the prenatal exposure of the embryo to sex hormones and the Hox genes, which are highly conserved among vertebrates and control the development of both the appendices, including fingers and toes, and the urogenital system. In this study, we report on sexual dimorphism in 2D:3D, 2D:4D, and 3D:4D contralateral ratios of the forelimbs in two species of oviparous lizards, the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) and the tree skink (Mabuya planifrons), as measured on museum specimens. We found that male P. muralis had a larger 2D:4D ratio on both sides and larger 2D:3D ratio on the left side than females, whereas in M. planifrons, males had lower 2D:3D ratios than females on the left side. The two species show opposite patterns of sexual dimorphism in body size, males being larger than females in P. muralis, and the reverse in M. planifrons, suggesting that interspecific variation of sex differences in digit ratios could be associated with sex-specific growth trajectories. There was a limited evidence for directional asymmetry in digit ratios. Therefore, our findings provide the first evidence that digit ratios are sexually dimorphic in any reptile species and are consistent with the idea that the genetic link between limb development and the urogenital system had been established with the evolution of the earliest terrestrial tetrapods. Importantly, many lizard species with genetic sex determination, including the ones we studied, are oviparous and may represent valuable animal models for experimental tests of the association between prenatal exposure to androgens or estrogens and digit ratios.

  3. Thermoregulatory consequences of salt loading in the lizard Pogona vitticeps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarpellini, Carolina da Silveira; Bícego, Kênia C; Tattersall, Glenn J

    2015-04-15

    Previous research has demonstrated that dehydration increases the threshold temperature for panting and decreases the thermal preference of lizards. Conversely, it is unknown whether thermoregulatory responses such as shuttling and gaping are similarly influenced. Shuttling, as an active behavioural response, is considered one of the most effective thermoregulatory behaviours, whereas gaping has been proposed to be involved in preventing brain over-heating in lizards. In this study we examined the effect of salt loading, a proxy for increased plasma osmolality, on shuttling and gaping in Pogona vitticeps. Then, we determined the upper and lower escape ambient temperatures (UETa and LETa), the percentage of time spent gaping, the metabolic rate (V̇O2 ), the evaporative water loss (EWL) during gaping and non-gaping intervals and the evaporative effectiveness (EWL/V̇O2 ) of gaping. All experiments were performed under isotonic (154 mmol l(-1)) and hypertonic saline injections (625, 1250 or 2500 mmol l(-1)). Only the highest concentration of hypertonic saline altered the UETa and LETa, but this effect appeared to be the result of diminishing the animal's propensity to move, instead of any direct reduction in thermoregulatory set-points. Nevertheless, the percentage of time spent gaping was proportionally reduced according to the saline concentration; V̇O2 was also decreased after salt loading. Thermographic images revealed lower head than body surface temperatures during gaping; however this difference was inhibited after salt loading. Our data suggest that EWL/V̇O2 is raised during gaping, possibly contributing to an increase in heat transfer away from the lizard, and playing a role in head or brain cooling.

  4. Diagnostic sensitivity of ultrasound, radiography and computed tomography for gender determination in four species of lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Ianni, Francesco; Volta, Antonella; Pelizzone, Igor; Manfredi, Sabrina; Gnudi, Giacomo; Parmigiani, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Gender determination is frequently requested by reptile breeders, especially for species with poor or absent sexual dimorphism. The aims of the current study were to describe techniques and diagnostic sensitivities of ultrasound, radiography, and computed tomography for gender determination (identification of hemipenes) in four species of lizards. Nineteen lizards of known sex, belonging to four different species (Pogona vitticeps, Uromastyx aegyptia, Tiliqua scincoides, Gerrhosaurus major) were prospectively enrolled. With informed owner consent, ultrasound, noncontrast CT, contrast radiography, and contrast CT (with contrast medium administered into the cloaca) were performed in conscious animals. Imaging studies were reviewed by three different operators, each unaware of the gender of the animals and of the results of the other techniques. The lizard was classified as a male when hemipenes were identified. Nineteen lizards were included in the study, 10 females and nine males. The hemipenes were seen on ultrasound in only two male lizards, and appeared as oval hypoechoic structures. Radiographically, hemipenes filled with contrast medium appeared as spindle-shaped opacities. Noncontrast CT identified hemipenes in only two lizards, and these appeared as spindle-shaped kinked structures with hyperattenuating content consistent with smegma. Hemipenes were correctly identified in all nine males using contrast CT (accuracy of 100%). Accuracy of contrast radiography was excellent (94.7%). Accuracy of ultrasound and of noncontrast CT was poor (64.3% and 63.1%, respectively). Findings from the current study supported the use of contrast CT or contrast radiography for gender determination in lizards.

  5. One solution for two challenges: the lizard Microlophus atacamensis avoids overheating by foraging in intertidal shores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepúlveda, Maritza; Sabat, Pablo; Porter, Warren P; Fariña, José Miguel

    2014-01-01

    In lizards, one of the most important behavioral mechanisms to cope with spatial and temporal variations in thermal resources observed is activity time. The longer a lizard can maintain activity, the more time it has to forage and reach larger adult body size. We studied the behavioral adjustments to different climatic regimens on daily and seasonal scales in three natural populations of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along a latitudinal temperature and rainfall gradient. We also used Niche Mapper to determinate the amount of thermally suitable time for activity for this species. Abundance and daily activity patterns varied greatly over the year for the three populations. In summer and spring, the daily activity times were greater, and were reduced in fall and winter seasons. In summer, when stressful heat loads should prohibit activity over a midday gap, lizards did not show bimodal patterns of activity. Instead, they move to the cooler intertidal habitat. Abundance and thermal quality in the southernmost coolest site was lower, and the potential annual activity time decreases with latitude. Contrary to expectations, lizards from this locality showed the largest body sizes possibly due to diet and/or time to sexual maturation. Our results indicate that the intertidal habitat is a key factor that influences daily and seasonal activity of M. atacamensis lizards. While this habitat is not climatically optimal for lizards, it allows them to behaviorally extend their activity window and gain access to food in the intertidal areas.

  6. Regulation of skeletal muscle metabolism in the lizard Dipsosaurus dorsalis by fructose-2,6-bisphosphate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholnick, D A; Gleeson, T T

    1996-11-01

    Changes in liver and skeletal muscle fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru-2,6-P2) concentrations were compared during fasting, exercise, and recovery in the lizard Dipsosaurus dorsalis and in outbred mice (Mus musculus). We present the first correlative evidence that suggests that a decrease in the content of Fru-2,6-P2 may mediate elevated gluconeogenesis in lizard skeletal muscle. Contents of Fru-2,6-P2 in lizard gastrocnemius and red and white iliofibularis (IF) were significantly lower (as much as 55% in white IF) during recovery from exhaustive exercise than at rest. Recovery from exhaustive exercise had no significant effect on Fru-2,6-P2 concentrations in any mouse muscle examined. Fasting significantly depressed lizard and mouse liver Fru-2,6-P2 contents and decreased lizard red IF by over 84% from the fed condition. Lizard red and white muscle fiber bundles incubated in 20 mM lactate had significantly lower Fru-2,6-P2 (94 and 61% depression, respectively) than those incubated in 8.5 mM glucose. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that Fru-2,6-P2 acts as a signal for controlling gluconeogenesis in lizard skeletal muscle.

  7. The relative influence of road characteristics and habitat on adjacent lizard populations in arid shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Kaylan A.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Gerow, Kenneth G.

    2016-01-01

    As road networks continue to expand globally, indirect impacts to adjacent wildlife populations remain largely unknown. Simultaneously, reptile populations are declining worldwide and anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are frequently cited causes. We evaluated the relative influence of three different road characteristics (surface treatment, width, and traffic volume) and habitat features on adjacent populations of Northern Sagebrush Lizards (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus), Plateau Fence Lizards (S. tristichus), and Greater Short-Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma hernandesi) in mixed arid shrubland habitats in southwest Wyoming. Neither odds of lizard presence nor relative abundance was significantly related to any of the assessed road characteristics, although there was a trend for higher Sceloporus spp. abundance adjacent to paved roads. Sceloporus spp. relative abundance did not vary systematically with distance to the nearest road. Rather, both Sceloporus spp. and Greater Short-Horned Lizards were associated strongly with particular habitat characteristics adjacent to roads. Sceloporus spp. presence and relative abundance increased with rock cover, relative abundance was associated positively with shrub cover, and presence was associated negatively with grass cover. Greater Short-Horned Lizard presence increased with bare ground and decreased marginally with shrub cover. Our results suggest that habitat attributes are stronger correlates of lizard presence and relative abundance than individual characteristics of adjacent roads, at least in our system. Therefore, an effective conservation approach for these species may be to consider the landscape through which new roads and their associated development would occur, and the impact that placement could have on fragment size and key habitat elements.

  8. Heart Disease and African Americans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Heart Disease Heart Disease and African Americans Although African American adults are ... were 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites. African American women are ...

  9. Virulence of lizard malaria: the evolutionary ecology of an ancient parasite-host association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schall, J J

    1990-01-01

    The negative consequences of parasitic infection (virulence) were examined for two lizard malaria parasite-host associations: Plasmodium agamae and P. giganteum, parasites of the rainbow lizard, Agama agama, in Sierra Leone, West Africa; and P. mexicanum in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, in northern California. These malaria species vary greatly in their reproductive characteristics: P. agamae produces only 8 merozoites per schizont, P. giganteum yields over 100, and P. mexicanum an intermediate number. All three parasites appear to have had an ancient association with their host. In fence lizards, infection with malaria is associated with increased numbers of immature erythrocytes, decreased haemoglobin levels, decreased maximal oxygen consumption, and decreased running stamina. Not affected were numbers of erythrocytes, resting metabolic rate, and sprint running speed which is supported by anaerobic means in lizards. Infected male fence lizards had smaller testes, stored less fat in preparation for winter dormancy, were more often socially submissive and, unexpectedly, were more extravagantly coloured on the ventral surface (a sexually dimorphic trait) than non-infected males. Females also stored less fat and produced smaller clutches of eggs, a directly observed reduction in fitness. Infected fence lizards do not develop behavioural fevers. P. mexicanum appears to have broad thermal buffering abilities and thermal tolerance; the parasite's population growth was unaffected by experimental alterations in the lizard's body temperature. The data are less complete for A. agama, but infected lizards suffered similar haematological and physiological effects. Infected animals may be socially submissive because they appear to gather less insect prey, possibly a result of being forced into inferior territories. Infection does not reduce clutch size in rainbow lizards, but may lengthen the time between clutches. These results are compared with

  10. Effects of asymmetry and learning on phonotaxis in a robot based on the lizard auditory system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, L.; Hallam, J.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.

    2012-01-01

    Lizards have strong directional hearing across a broad band of frequencies. The directionality can be attributed to the acoustical properties of the ear, especially the strong acoustical coupling of the two eardrums. The peripheral auditory system of the lizard has previously been modeled...... and magnitude of their intrinsic bias. To attain effective directional hearing, the bias in the peripheral system should be compensated. In this article, with the peripheral models, we design a decision model and a behavior model, a virtual robot, to simulate the auditory system of the lizard in software...

  11. The conservation status of the Saldanha-Langebaan lizard fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.G. Cordes

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The conservation status of relic melanistic lizard species occurring in the Saldanha- Langebaan area has been investigated. A contact zone between one melanistic form and a closely related non-melanistic form has been examined in detail. Apart from melanis- tic populations of the girdled lizards, Cordylus niger and C. polywnus, a melanistic morphotype of the Cape legless skink, Acontias meleagris meleagris also occurs in the area. The taxonomic status of this morphotype needs to be investigated. At Mauritz Bay, north of Saldanha, the ranges of C niger and the non-melanistic C cordylus are in contact over a distance of approximately 240 m, with maximum overlap of 70 m. The melanistic populations of C. polyz.onus and A. m. meleagris have relatively large ranges in the Saldanha-Langebaan area and are not threatened by urban development. The C niger population, however, is fragmented into several subpopulations, and those in the Saldanha area, including the contact zone, will be affected if urban development is allowed to continue in the area. As relic populations of other cool-adapted, melanistic invertebrate and lower vertebrate species may also occur in the area, the key areas demarcated by C. niger should be preserved.

  12. Age structured dynamical model for an endangered lizard Eulamprus leuraensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supriatna, A. K.; Rachmadani, Q.; Ilahi, F.; Anggriani, N.; Nuraini, N.

    2014-02-01

    The Blue Mountains Water Skink, Eulamprus leuraensis, is listed as an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. This lizard species has a typical characteristic of growth with a low fecundity. It is known that the offspring quality may decline with maternal age of the parents despite they can grow rapidly from neonatal size to adult size within two to three years. It is also believed that low adult survival rates and specialization on rare and fragmented type of habitat are the main cause leading to the endangered status of the lizard. A mathematical model with age structure for Eulamprus leuraensis, taking into account the variation of survival rate in each structure and the declining of offspring quality with respect to maternal age is considered here. Stable coexistence of non-trivial equilibriumis shown. It is also shown that an endangered status is due to combination oflow reproductive output and low rates of adult survival. Further, understanding the age structure within populations can facilitate efective management of the endangered species.

  13. Extended molecular phylogenetics and revised systematics of Malagasy scincine lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erens, Jesse; Miralles, Aurélien; Glaw, Frank; Chatrou, Lars W; Vences, Miguel

    2017-02-01

    Among the endemic biota of Madagascar, skinks are a diverse radiation of lizards that exhibit a striking ecomorphological variation, and could provide an interesting system to study body-form evolution in squamate reptiles. We provide a new phylogenetic hypothesis for Malagasy skinks of the subfamily Scincinae based on an extended molecular dataset comprising 8060bp from three mitochondrial and nine nuclear loci. Our analysis also increases taxon sampling of the genus Amphiglossus by including 16 out of 25 nominal species. Additionally, we examined whether the molecular phylogenetic patterns coincide with morphological differentiation in the species currently assigned to this genus. Various methods of inference recover a mostly strongly supported phylogeny with three main clades of Amphiglossus. However, relationships among these three clades and the limb-reduced genera Grandidierina, Voeltzkowia and Pygomeles remain uncertain. Supported by a variety of morphological differences (predominantly related to the degree of body elongation), but considering the remaining phylogenetic uncertainty, we propose a redefinition of Amphiglossus into three different genera (Amphiglossus sensu stricto, Flexiseps new genus, and Brachyseps new genus) to remove the non-monophyly of Amphiglossus sensu lato and to facilitate future studies on this fascinating group of lizards.

  14. Conserved sex chromosomes across adaptively radiated Anolis lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovatsos, Michail; Altmanová, Marie; Pokorná, Martina; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-07-01

    Vertebrates possess diverse sex-determining systems, which differ in evolutionary stability among particular groups. It has been suggested that poikilotherms possess more frequent turnovers of sex chromosomes than homoiotherms, whose effective thermoregulation can prevent the emergence of the sex reversals induced by environmental temperature. Squamate reptiles used to be regarded as a group with an extensive variability in sex determination; however, we document how the rather old radiation of lizards from the genus Anolis, known for exceptional ecomorphological variability, was connected with stability in sex chromosomes. We found that 18 tested species, representing most of the phylogenetic diversity of the genus, share the gene content of their X chromosomes. Furthermore, we discovered homologous sex chromosomes in species of two genera (Sceloporus and Petrosaurus) from the family Phrynosomatidae, serving here as an outgroup to Anolis. We can conclude that the origin of sex chromosomes within iguanas largely predates the Anolis radiation and that the sex chromosomes of iguanas remained conserved for a significant part of their evolutionary history. Next to therian mammals and birds, Anolis lizards therefore represent another adaptively radiated amniote clade with conserved sex chromosomes. We argue that the evolutionary stability of sex-determining systems may reflect an advanced stage of differentiation of sex chromosomes rather than thermoregulation strategy.

  15. Skin shedding and tissue regeneration in African spiny mice (Acomys).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifert, Ashley W; Kiama, Stephen G; Seifert, Megan G; Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Maden, Malcolm

    2012-09-27

    Evolutionary modification has produced a spectrum of animal defence traits to escape predation, including the ability to autotomize body parts to elude capture. After autotomy, the missing part is either replaced through regeneration (for example, in urodeles, lizards, arthropods and crustaceans) or permanently lost (such as in mammals). Although most autotomy involves the loss of appendages (legs, chelipeds, antennae or tails, for example), skin autotomy can occur in certain taxa of scincid and gekkonid lizards. Here we report the first demonstration of skin autotomy in Mammalia (African spiny mice, Acomys). Mechanical testing showed a propensity for skin to tear under very low tension and the absence of a fracture plane. After skin loss, rapid wound contraction was followed by hair follicle regeneration in dorsal skin wounds. Notably, we found that regenerative capacity in Acomys was extended to ear holes, where the mice exhibited complete regeneration of hair follicles, sebaceous glands, dermis and cartilage. Salamanders capable of limb regeneration form a blastema (a mass of lineage-restricted progenitor cells) after limb loss, and our findings suggest that ear tissue regeneration in Acomys may proceed through the assembly of a similar structure. This study underscores the importance of investigating regenerative phenomena outside of conventional model organisms, and suggests that mammals may retain a higher capacity for regeneration than was previously believed. As re-emergent interest in regenerative medicine seeks to isolate molecular pathways controlling tissue regeneration in mammals, Acomys may prove useful in identifying mechanisms to promote regeneration in lieu of fibrosis and scarring.

  16. Depression and African Americans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... You are here Home » Depression And African Americans Depression And African Americans Not “Just the Blues” Clinical ... or spiritual communities. Commonly Asked Questions about Clinical Depression How do I get help for clinical depression? ...

  17. Temporal distributions, habitat associations and behaviour of the green lizard (Lacerta bilineata and wall lizard (Podarcis muralis on roads in a fragmented landscape in Western France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger Meek

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Observations of the green lizard (Lacerta bilineata and wall lizard (Podarcis muralis on roads in Western France indicated that basking close to the road edge was the predominant activity in L. bilineata but P. muralis mostly foraged. Spatial locations of road mortalities in both species reflected this with the median distances from the road edge greater in P. muralis. Temporal differences in road presence, based on mortality counts and those of live lizards, indicated significantly more lizards were present on roads during late summer and autumn, especially in P. muralis. A significant correlation was found between the monthly presence of live lizards and monthly road mortalities in P. muralis (r = 0.73 but not in L. bilineata (r = 0.64.  Numbers of L. bilineata found on roads bisecting low-density urban areas and roads bordered by hedgerows were higher than expected in relation to the occurrence of these habitats at roadsides. In P. muralis higher than expected numbers were found alongside low-density urban areas and roads bisecting woodland. Generally both species were less commonly seen on roads alongside agricultural areas with no hedgerow border.

  18. Structure of capsule around acanthocephalan Corynosoma strumosum from uncommon paratenic hosts-lizards of two species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skorobrechova, Ekaterina M; Nikishin, Vladimir P; Lisitsyna, Olga I

    2012-01-01

    Micromorphology and ultrastructure of capsule forming around acanthocephalan Corynosoma strumosum in uncommon paratenic hosts-lizards Lacerta agilis and Lacerta viridis-have been studied. Experimental infestation of the lizards by acanthocephalans obtained from naturally infested sea fishes showed that only small amount of parasites occurred in the intestine of the host was able to migrate into body cavity and to be encapsulated. Micromorphology of capsules of different ages from different species of lizards and micromorphology and ultrastructure of capsules at the age of 1.5 and 10 days appeared to be similar. In the capsule's structure cells of inflammatory rank were prevailing: mononuclear and multinuclear macrophages, eosinophils, and basophils. Fibroblasts were not numerous and were located only in the outer part of a capsule; exocellular collagen fibers were absent. Inflammatory character of capsule confirms the idea that lizards are unsuitable paratenic hosts for corynosomes.

  19. Six genetically distinct clades of Palola (Eunicidae, Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Anja

    2015-09-18

    A total of 36 lots of Palola spp. (Eunicidae, Annelida) were collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Workshop on Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Of these, 21 specimens were sequenced for a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene. These sequences were analysed in conjunction with existing sequences of Palola spp. from other geographic regions. The samples from Lizard Island form six distinct clades, although none of them can clearly be assigned to any of the nominal species. Four of the six Lizard Island clades fall into species group A and the remaining two into species group B (which also includes the type species, Palola viridis). All sequenced specimens were characterized morphologically as far as possible and a dichotomous key was assembled. Based on this key, the remaining samples were identified as belonging to one of the clades.

  20. Correlated amplitude fluctuations of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in six lizard species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dijk, P; Manley, GA; Gallo, L

    1998-01-01

    Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions were recorded from 17 lizard ears (six species: Gerrhosaurus major, Iguana iguana, Basiliscus vittatus, Tupinambis teguixin, Varanus exanthematicus, and Cordylus tropidosternum), The spectrum of each recording contained multiple spectral peaks. For each peak, the en

  1. Thermal biology of Phymaturus lizards: evolutionary constraints or lack of environmental variation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Felix B; Belver, Luciana; Acosta, Juan C; Villavicencio, Héctor J; Blanco, Graciela; Cánovas, Maria G

    2009-01-01

    Several aspects of the biology of Phymaturus lizards including their herbivorous diet, specialized microhabitat use, and viviparous reproductive mode are highly conserved within the group. Here, we explore two aspects of Phymaturus thermal biology and test for the co-evolution among aspects of the thermal biology in these lizards, such as thermal preferenda and critical temperatures. Secondly, we explore correlations among variation in thermal biology with elevation and latitude. To do so, we used phylogenetically based comparative analyses (PCM) together with conventional statistics. Our results show that thermal biology for Phymaturus is conservative and our data do not suggest the co-evolution of thermal variables. Moreover, we detected low levels of variation in the thermal parameters studied, and no clear relationships between climatic and thermal variables. As a significant association between climatic and thermal variables could be demonstrated for a set of syntopic Liolaemus lizards, we suggest that thermal biology in Phymaturus lizards may be evolutionarily or ecologically constrained.

  2. Linguistic Imperialism: African Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillipson, Robert

    1996-01-01

    Responds to an article on aspects of African language policy and discusses the following issues: multilingualism and monolingualism, proposed changes in language policy from the Organization for African Unity and South African initiatives, the language of literature, bilingual education, and whose interests English-language teaching is serving.…

  3. Comparative analysis of fiber-type composition in the iliofibularis muscle of phrynosomatid lizards (Squamata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonine, K E; Gleeson, T T; Garland, T

    2001-12-01

    The lizard family Phrynosomatidae comprises three subclades: the closely related sand and horned lizards, and their relatives the Sceloporus group. This family exhibits great variation in ecology, behavior, and general body plan. Previous studies also show that this family exhibits great diversity in locomotor performance abilities; as measured on a high-speed treadmill, sand lizards are exceptionally fast sprinters, members of the Sceloporus group are intermediate, and horned lizards are slowest. These differences are paralleled by differences in relative hindlimb span. To determine if muscle fiber-type composition also varies among the three subclades, we examined the iliofibularis (IF), a hindlimb muscle used in lizard locomotion, in 11 species of phrynosomatid lizards. Using histochemical assays for myosin ATPase, an indicator of fast-twitch capacity, and succinic dehydrogenase, denoting oxidative capacity, we classified fiber types into three categories based on existing nomenclature: fast-twitch glycolytic (FG), fast-twitch oxidative-glycolytic (FOG), and slow-twitch oxidative (SO). Sand lizards have a high proportion of FG fibers (64-70%) and a low proportion of FOG fibers (25-33%), horned lizards are the converse (FG fibers 25-31%, FOG fibers 56-66%), and members of the Sceloporus group are intermediate for both FG (41-48%) and FOG (42-45%) content. Hence, across all 11 species %FOG and %FG are strongly negatively correlated. Analysis with phylogenetically independent contrasts indicate that this negative relationship is entirely attributable to the divergence between sand and horned lizards. The %SO also varies among the three subclades. Results from conventional nested ANCOVA (with log body mass as a covariate) indicate that the log mean cross-sectional area of individual muscle fibers differs among species and is positively correlated with body mass across species, but does not differ significantly among subclades. The log cross-sectional area of the IF

  4. Hepatozoon kisrae n. sp. infecting the lizard Agama stellio is transmitted by the tick Hyalomma cf. aegyptium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paperna I.

    2002-03-01

    Full Text Available Hepatozoon kisrae n. sp. was found infecting a starred lizard at a site in southeastern Samaria, Palestine. These lizards were also hosts to the ixodid tick Hyolomma cf. aegyptium, which was demonstrated to be the vector of this hemogregarine. Hepatozoon and tick infections occurred in lizards within a very restricted locality; at a second site, nearby, ticks occurred without Hepatozoon infection. Micro- and macromeronts occurred mainly in the lungs, while cyst-like merogonic stages, mainly dizoic, occurred in the liver. Mature intraerythrocytic gametocytes were stout and encapsulated. Development from oocysts to sporocysts took place in the tick hemocoel, and was examined by transmission electron microscopy. Lizards were successfully infected when fed on sporocyst-infected ticks or viscera of infected lizards. Ticks become infected when fed on infected lizards; sporogony was complete when the ticks reached adult stage, over 40 days after initial attachment.

  5. Checklist of the lizards of Togo (West Africa), with comments on systematics, distribution, ecology, and conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Hoinsoude Segniagbeto, G.; Trape, Jean-François; Afiademanyo, K. M.; Rodel, M. O.; Ohler, A.; Dubois, A.; David, P.; Meirte, D.; Glitho, I. A.; Petrozzi, F.; L. Luiselli

    2015-01-01

    The lizard fauna of Togo, a country situated within a natural gap in the rainforest zone of West Africa, is reviewed and updated. In this article, we summarize all available data on the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of the 43 lizard species of Togo. Species richness is uneven between vegetation zones. The submontane forest (ecological zone IV), despite being the smallest, houses the greatest number of species (n = 27), followed by dry forest (ecological zone II, n = 21). Curr...

  6. Are lizards feeling the heat?: a tale of ecology and evolution under two temperatures

    OpenAIRE

    Meiri, Shai; Bauer, Aaron M.; Chirio, Laurent; Colli, Guarino R; Das, Indraneil; Doan, Tiffany M.; Feldman, Anat; Herrera, Fernando-Castro; Novosolov, Maria; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel; Powney, Gary; Torres-Carvajal, Omar; Uetz, Peter; Van Damme, Raoul

    2013-01-01

    Aim: Temperature influences most components of animal ecology and life history – but what kind of temperature? Physiologists usually examine the influence of body temperatures, while biogeographers and macroecologists tend to focus on environmental temperatures. We aim to examine the relationship between these two measures, to determine the factors that affect lizard body temperatures and to test the effect of both temperature measures on lizard life history. Location: World-wide. Methods: We...

  7. The peak of thermoregulation effectiveness: Thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-02-01

    We studied, at 2200m altitude, the thermal biology of the Pyrenean rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali, in the glacial cirque of Cotatuero (National Park of Ordesa, Huesca, Spain). The preferred thermal range (PTR) of I. bonnali indicates that it is a cold-adapted ectotherm with a narrow PTR (29.20-32.77°C). However, its PTR (3.57°C) is twice as wide as other Iberolacerta lizards, which may be explained by its broader historical distribution. The studied area is formed by a mosaic of microhabitats which offer different operative temperatures, so that lizards have, throughout their entire daily period of activity, the opportunity to choose the most thermally suitable substrates. I. bonnali achieves an effectiveness of thermoregulation of 0.95, which makes it the highest value found to date among the Lacertidae, and one of the highest among lizards. Their relatively wide distribution, their wider PTR, and their excellent ability of thermoregulation, would make I. bonnali lizards less vulnerable to climate change than other species of Iberolacerta. Thanks to its difficult access, the studied area is not visited by a large number of tourists, as are other areas of the National Park. Thus, it is a key area for the conservation of the Pyrenean rock lizard. By shuttling between suitable microhabitats, lizards achieve suitable body temperatures during all day. However, such thermally suitable microhabitats should vary in other traits than thermal quality, such as prey availability or predation risk. Hence, it seems that these not-thermal traits are not constraining habitat selection and thermoregulation in this population. Therefore, future research in this population may study the causes that would lead lizards to prioritize thermoregulation to such extent in this population.

  8. On the water lapping of felines and the water running of lizards: A unifying physical perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Aristoff, Jeffrey M.; Stocker, Roman; Reis, Pedro M.; Jung, Sunghwan

    2011-01-01

    We consider two biological phenomena taking place at the air-water interface: the water lapping of felines and the water running of lizards. Although seemingly disparate motions, we show that they are intimately linked by their underlying hydrodynamics and belong to a broader class of processes called Froude mechanisms. We describe how both felines and lizards exploit inertia to defeat gravity, and discuss water lapping and water running in the broader context of water exit and water entry, r...

  9. Preliminary observations on the reproductive cycle of female Tegu lizards (Tupinambis teguizin)

    OpenAIRE

    Yanosky, Ángel Alberto; Mercolli, Claudia

    1991-01-01

    The black tegu lizard, Tupinambis teguixin (Linnaeus 1758) is a common element in the wild all throughout Southamerica except for Chile. This teiid lizard was outstood by earlier travellers such as Sir Charles Waterton who reported for the first time about the delicate food, resembling chicken flesh and frequently consumed by local natives. Despite its relative abundance and both the intense economical and social importance of tegus, as well as its situation in the food web, the reproductive ...

  10. Influence of stress on gonadotrophin induced testicular recrudescence in the lizard Mabuya Carinata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yajurvedi, H N; Menon, Sneha

    2005-07-01

    Administration (ip) of FSH (10 IU/0.1 ml distilled water (dw)/lizard/alternate days/30 days) to adult male lizards, Mabuya carinata, during the early recrudescence phase of the reproductive cycle caused activation of spermatogenic and steroidogenic activity of the testis, as shown by a significant increase in mean number of spermatogonia, primary spermatocytes and spermatids, and serum levels of testosterone, as compared to initial controls. In addition, there were abundant spermatozoa in the lumen of the seminiferous tubules. Interestingly, administration of a similar dosage of FSH to lizards exposed to stressors (handling, chasing, and noise randomly applied, five times a day for 30 days) resulted in a significant increase in mean number of spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes over initial control values, whereas the number of secondary spermatocytes and spermatids and serum levels of testosterone did not significantly differ from those of initial controls, and were significantly lower than FSH treated normal lizards. Further, spermatozoa were infrequently found in the seminiferous tubules of these lizards. Treatment controls (receiving 0.1 ml dw/lizard/alternate days for 30 days) did not show significant variation in mean number of spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids, and serum levels of testosterone from initial controls. Another group of lizards was exposed to stressors and did not receive FSH. These lizards showed a significant decrease in mean number of secondary spermatocytes compared to treatment controls and all other parameters did not significantly differ from those of both control groups. The results reveal that gonadotrophin-induced spermatogonial proliferation occurs under stressful conditions, whereas progress of spermatogenesis beyond primary spermatocyte stage is impaired due to inhibition (under stress) of gonadotrophin induced steroidogenic activity in M. carinata.

  11. Temperature has species-specific effects on corticosterone in alligator lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telemeco, Rory S; Addis, Elizabeth A

    2014-09-15

    In response to conditions that threaten homeostasis and/or life, vertebrates generally increase production of glucocorticoid hormones, such as corticosterone (CORT), which induces an emergency physiological state referred to as the stress response. Given that extreme temperatures pose a threat to performance and survival, glucocorticoid upregulation might be an important component of a vertebrate ectotherm's response to extreme thermal conditions. To address this hypothesis, we experimentally examined the effects of body temperature (10, 20, 28, and 35°C; 5-h exposure) on CORT in two congeneric species of lizard naturally exposed to different thermal environments, northern and southern alligator lizards (Elgaria coerulea and Elgaria multicarinata, respectively). In both species, CORT was similarly elevated at medium and high temperatures (28 and 35°C, respectively), but CORT was only elevated at low temperatures (10°C) in southern alligator lizards. We also examined CORT before and after adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) challenge. In both species, ACTH induced higher CORT levels than any temperature, suggesting that these animals could respond to further stressors at all experimental temperatures. Finally, we compared our laboratory results to measurements of CORT in field-active southern alligator lizards. Plasma CORT concentrations from our laboratory experiment had the same mean and less variance than the field lizards, suggesting that our laboratory lizards displayed CORT within natural levels. Our results demonstrate that body temperature directly affects CORT in alligator lizards. Moreover, the CORT response of these lizards appears to be adapted to their respective thermal environments. Species-specific differences in the thermal CORT response might be common in vertebrate ectotherms and have implications for species' biogeography and responses to climate change.

  12. Recurrent evolution of herbivory in small, cold-climate lizards: Breaking the ecophysiological rules of reptilian herbivory

    OpenAIRE

    Espinoza, Robert E.; Wiens, John J.; Tracy, C. Richard

    2004-01-01

    Herbivory has evolved in many groups of vertebrates, but it is rare among both extinct and extant nonavian reptiles. Among squamate reptiles, (lizards, snakes, and their relatives), 7,800 species are considered to be herbivorous, and herbivory is restricted to lizards. Here, we show that within a group of South American lizards (Liolaemidae, ≈170 species), herbivory has evolved more frequently than in all other squamates combined and at a rate estimated to be >65 times faster. Furthermore, in...

  13. Incidence, causes and consequences of pregnancy failure in viviparous lizards: implications for research and conservation settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, Kelly M; Cree, Alison

    2010-01-01

    Research on the causes of pregnancy failure in vertebrates has historically been mammal-focussed. However, live-birth (viviparity) has evolved multiple times, and is present in all other vertebrate taxa except Aves and Agnatha. Viviparous lizards (O. Squamata, excluding snakes and amphisbaenians) provide a valuable experimental group when studying major evolutionary events and some are also species of high conservation value. Consequently, both researchers and herpetoculturists often require high reproductive output from captive-held lizards. We reviewed the literature to determine potential or known causes of pregnancy failure for captive lizards. Pregnancy success across species averages approximately 86%, but varies extensively and does not appear to be related to embryonic stage when brought into captivity or level of placentation. Causes of pregnancy failure also vary among species, but correct thermal environments are vital to success, and providing adequate nutrition before vitellogenesis increases the number of viable offspring. A coordinated sequence of hormonal changes involving both pro-pregnancy and pro-labour factors is important for successful pregnancies, although uncertainty remains around the maternal concentrations of corticosterone that allow successful development. Several research areas commonly studied in mammals have yet to be explored or fully addressed in pregnant lizards, including impacts of toxins, parasites, UV light and nutritional quality. As viviparity has evolved over 100 times in lizards, and many different levels of placentation exist, pregnant lizards provide valuable models for studies in ecology and evolution and offer a useful comparison for studies on other viviparous vertebrates.

  14. Fossilized venom: the unusually conserved venom profiles of Heloderma species (beaded lizards and gila monsters).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N W; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G

    2014-12-22

    Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards) have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years) separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum). Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences). While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation.

  15. Coloration affects heating and cooling in three color morphs of the Australian bluetongue lizard, Tiliqua scincoides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geen, Michael R S; Johnston, Gregory R

    2014-07-01

    The color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis predicts that dark body color (low reflectance) allows organisms to gain heat more efficiently than does pale coloration (high reflectance). This prediction is intuitive and widely assumed to be true, but has poor empirical support. We used rare, captive-bred, mutant melanistic, albino and wild-type Australian bluetongue lizards, Tiliqua scincoides to measure the effects of skin reflectance on the heating and cooling rates. We measured heating under an artificial radiant heat source and cooling rates in an ice-cooled box using live lizards in a room with still air. The effect of skin reflectance on heat transfer was clear, despite the substantial influence of body size. Melanistic T. scincoides showed low reflectance and gained heat faster than highly reflective albinos. Melanistic lizards also lost heat faster than albinos. Wild-type lizards were intermediate in reflectance, gained heat at rates indistinguishable from melanistic lizards, and lost heat at rates indistinguishable from albino lizards. This study system allowed us to control for variables that were confounded in other studies and may explain the inconsistent support for the color-mediated thermoregulation hypothesis. Our results provide clear evidence that skin reflectance influences the rate of heating and cooling in ectotherms.

  16. Fossilized Venom: The Unusually Conserved Venom Profiles of Heloderma Species (Beaded Lizards and Gila Monsters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Koludarov

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum. Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences. While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation.

  17. Choosing between a rock and a hard place: Camouflage in the round-tailed horned lizard Phrynosoma modestum

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    William E.COOPER; Wade C.SHERBROOKE

    2012-01-01

    The round-tailed horned lizard Phrynosoma modestum is cryptically colored and resembles a small stone when it draws legs close to its body and elevates its back.We investigated effectiveness of camouflage in P.modestum and its dependence on stones by placing a lizard in one of two microhabitats (uniform sand or sand with surface rocks approximately the same size as lizards).An observer who knew which microhabitat contained the lizard was asked to locate the lizard visually.Latency to detection was longer and probability of no detection within 60 s was higher for lizards on rock background than on bare sand.In arenas where lizards could choose to occupy rock or bare sand,much higher proportions selected rocky backgrounds throughout the day;at night all lizards slept among stones.A unique posture gives P.modestum a rounded appearance similar to many natural stones.Lizards occasionally adopted the posture,but none did so in response to a nearby experimenter.Stimuli that elicit the posture are unknown.That P.modestum is better camouflaged among rocks than on bare sand and prefers to occupy rocky areas suggests that special resemblance to rocks (masquerade) enhances camouflage attributable to coloration and immobility.

  18. Syllidae (Annelida: Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguado, M Teresa; Murray, Anna; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Thirty species of the family Syllidae (Annelida, Phyllodocida) from Lizard Island have been identified. Three subfamilies (Eusyllinae, Exogoninae and Syllinae) are represented, as well as the currently unassigned genera Amblyosyllis and Westheidesyllis. The genus Trypanobia (Imajima & Hartman 1964), formerly considered a subgenus of Trypanosyllis, is elevated to genus rank. Seventeen species are new reports for Queensland and two are new species. Odontosyllis robustus n. sp. is characterized by a robust body and distinct colour pattern in live specimens consisting of lateral reddish-brown pigmentation on several segments, and bidentate, short and distally broad falcigers. Trypanobia cryptica n. sp. is found in association with sponges and characterized by a distinctive bright red colouration in live specimens, and one kind of simple chaeta with a short basal spur.

  19. A new filaria of a lizard transmitted by sandflies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Odile Bain

    1992-01-01

    Full Text Available A description is given of Madathamugadia wanjii n. sp., a Splendidofilariinae parasite of the gecko Ptyodactylus hasselquistii, on the west bank of the River Jordan and of its life cycle in Phlebotomus duboscqi. The new species is close to M. ivaschkini (Annaev, 1976 n. comb., of Turkmenistan, wich is also transmitted by sandflies (Reznik, 1982. The genus Madathamugadia is now comprised of four species, two from Madagascar and two from the Mediterranean sub-region; it differs from the genus Thamugadia by the presence of a double row of papillae anterior to the cloaca of the male. The larval characters of Splendidofilarinae of lizards confirm the affinity of these parasites to the Splendidofilarinae of birds (Chandlerella and Splendidofilaria; the first group could have arisen from the second by "captures" wich could have occurred in several places.

  20. A telencephalospinal projection in the Tegu lizard (Tupinambis teguixin).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follett, K A

    1989-09-04

    Tegu lizards (Tupinambis teguixin) were studied to determine the presence of a homologue of the mammalian corticospinal tract. The sources of telencephalic efferent projections to the spinal cord were determined by evaluating the localization of retrogradely transported horseradish peroxidase applied in the cervical spinal cord. Labeled cells were present in subtelencephalic sites reported previously by other authors and, in addition, were found in the principal sensory and motor nuclei of the trigeminal nerve and in the nucleus of the posterior commissure. A telencephalospinal projection was identified, originating in the ventral caudal telencephalon. Histochemical staining revealed a high concentration of acetylcholinesterase in cells and neuropil in the same area. This tract is suggested to be homologous to the mammalian amygdalospinal tract. No reptilian homologue of the corticospinal tract was identified.

  1. Mitochondrial DNA recombination in a free-ranging Australian lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujvari, Beata; Dowton, Mark; Madsen, Thomas

    2007-04-22

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is the traditional workhorse for reconstructing evolutionary events. The frequent use of mtDNA in such analyses derives from the apparent simplicity of its inheritance: maternal and lacking bi-parental recombination. However, in hybrid zones, the reproductive barriers are often not completely developed, resulting in the breakdown of male mitochondrial elimination mechanisms, leading to leakage of paternal mitochondria and transient heteroplasmy, resulting in an increased possibility of recombination. Despite the widespread occurrence of heteroplasmy and the presence of the molecular machinery necessary for recombination, we know of no documented example of recombination of mtDNA in any terrestrial wild vertebrate population. By sequencing the entire mitochondrial genome (16761bp), we present evidence for mitochondrial recombination in the hybrid zone of two mitochondrial haplotypes in the Australian frillneck lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii).

  2. Oogenesis in the viviparous matrotrophic lizard Mabuya brachypoda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Franyutti, Arlette; Uribe Aranzábal, Mari Carmen; Guillette, Louis J

    2005-08-01

    Oogenesis in the lizard Mabuya brachypoda is seasonal, with oogenesis initiated during May-June and ovulation occurring during July-August. This species ovulates an egg that is microlecithal, having very small yolk stores. The preovulatory oocyte attains a maximum diameter of 0.9-1.3 mm. Two elongated germinal beds, formed by germinal epithelia containing oogonia, early oocytes, and somatic cells, are found on the dorsal surface of each ovary. Although microlecithal eggs are ovulated in this species, oogenesis is characterized by both previtellogenic and vitellogenic stages. During early previtellogenesis, the nucleus of the oocyte contains lampbrush chromosomes, whereas the ooplasm stains lightly with a perinuclear yolk nucleus. During late previtellogenesis the ooplasm displays basophilic staining with fine granular material composed of irregularly distributed bundles of thin fibers. A well-defined zona pellucida is also observed. The granulosa, initially composed of a single layer of squamous cells during early previtellogenesis, becomes multilayered and polymorphic. As with other squamate reptiles, the granulosa at this stage is formed by three cell types: small, intermediate, and large or pyriform cells. As vitellogenesis progresses the oocyte displays abundant vacuoles and small, but scarce, yolk platelets at the periphery of the oocyte. The zona pellucida attains its maximum thickness during late oogenesis, a period when the granulosa is again reduced to a single layer of squamous cells. The vitellogenic process observed in M. brachypoda corresponds with the earliest vitellogenic stages seen in other viviparous lizard species with larger oocytes. The various species of the genus Mabuya provided us with important models to understand a major transition in the evolution of viviparity, the development of a microlecithal egg.

  3. Ultraviolet radiation does not increase oxidative stress in the lizard Psammodromus algirus along an elevational gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reguera, Senda; Zamora-Camacho, Francisco J; Melero, Elena; García-Mesa, Sergio; Trenzado, Cristina E; Cabrerizo, Marco J; Sanz, Ana; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2015-05-01

    Lizards, as ectotherms, spend much time basking for thermoregulating exposed to solar radiation. Consequently, they are subjected to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), which is the most harmful component of solar radiation spectrum. UVR can provoke damages, from the molecular to tissue level, even cause death. Photooxidation triggered by UVR produces reactive oxidative species (ROS). When antioxidant machinery cannot combat the ROS concentration, oxidative stress occurs in the organisms. Given that UVR increases with elevation, we hypothesised that lizards from high elevations should be better adapted against UVR than lizards from lower elevations. In this work, we test this hypothesis in Psammodromus algirus along an elevation gradient (three elevational belts, from 300 to 2500 m above sea level). We ran an experiment in which lizards from each elevation belt were exposed to 5-hour doses of UVR (UV-light bulb, experimental group) or photosynthetically active radiation (white-light bulb, control group) and, 24 h after the exposure, we took tissue samples from the tail. We measured oxidative damage (lipid and protein peroxidation) and antioxidant capacity as oxidative-stress biomarkers. We found no differences in oxidative stress between treatments. However, consistent with a previous work, less oxidative damage appeared in lizards from the highlands. We conclude that UVR is not a stressor agent for P. algirus; however, our findings suggest that the lowland environment is more oxidative for lizards. Therefore, P. algirus is well adapted to inhabit a large elevation range, and this would favour the lizard in case it ascends in response to global climate change.

  4. Direct and indirect effects of petroleum production activities on the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) as a surrogate for the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Scott M; Knox, Ami; Talent, Larry G; Anderson, Todd A; Salice, Christopher J

    2016-05-01

    The dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) is a habitat specialist of conservation concern limited to shin oak sand dune systems of New Mexico and Texas (USA). Because much of the dunes sagebrush lizard's habitat occurs in areas of high oil and gas production, there may be direct and indirect effects of these activities. The congeneric Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) was used as a surrogate species to determine direct effects of 2 contaminants associated with oil and gas drilling activities in the Permian Basin (NM and TX, USA): herbicide formulations (Krovar and Quest) and hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). Lizards were exposed to 2 concentrations of H2 S (30 ppm or 90 ppm) and herbicide formulations (1× or 2× label application rate) representing high-end exposure scenarios. Sublethal behavioral endpoints were evaluated, including sprint speed and time to prey detection and capture. Neither H2S nor herbicide formulations caused significant behavioral effects compared to controls. To understand potential indirect effects of oil and gas drilling on the prey base, terrestrial invertebrate biomass and order diversity were quantified at impacted sites to compare with nonimpacted sites. A significant decrease in biomass was found at impacted sites, but no significant effects on diversity. The results suggest little risk from direct toxic effects, but the potential for indirect effects should be further explored.

  5. Reading the African context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Musonda Bwalya

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available There is so much alienation, pain and suffering in our today�s world. In this vein, African Christianity, a voice amongst many voices, should seek to be a transformational religion for the whole of life, affecting all facets of human life towards a fuller life of all in Africa. This article sought to highlight and point to some of the major societal challenges in the African context which African Christianity, as a life-affirming religion, should continue to embrace, re-embrace and engage with, if it has to be relevant to the African context. In this vein, the article argued that a correct reading of the African context would lead to a more relevant theory and praxis of African Christianity for the benefit of all African peoples and their global neighbours. The contention of this article was that African Christianity has a significant role to play in the re-shaping of the African society and in the global community of humans, only that this role must be executed inclusively, responsibly and appropriately, together with all those who seek the holistic development of Africa towards one common destiny.

  6. What are carotenoids signaling? Immunostimulatory effects of dietary vitamin E, but not of carotenoids, in Iberian green lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopena, Renata; López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2014-12-01

    In spite that carotenoid-based sexual ornaments are one of the most popular research topics in sexual selection of animals, the antioxidant and immunostimulatory role of carotenoids, presumably signaled by these colorful ornaments, is still controversial. It has been suggested that the function of carotenoids might not be as an antioxidant per se, but that colorful carotenoids may indirectly reflect the levels of nonpigmentary antioxidants, such as melatonin or vitamin E. We experimentally fed male Iberian green lizards ( Lacerta schreiberi) additional carotenoids or vitamin E alone, or a combination of carotenoids and vitamin E dissolved in soybean oil, whereas a control group only received soybean oil. We examined the effects of the dietary supplementations on phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-induced skin-swelling immune response and body condition. Lizards that were supplemented with vitamin E alone or a combination of vitamin E and carotenoids had greater immune responses than control lizards, but animals supplemented with carotenoids alone had lower immune responses than lizards supplemented with vitamin E and did not differ from control lizards. These results support the hypothesis that carotenoids in green lizards are not effective as immunostimulants, but that they may be visually signaling the immunostimulatory effects of non-pigmentary vitamin E. In contrast, lizards supplemented with carotenoids alone have higher body condition gains than lizards in the other experimental groups, suggesting that carotenoids may be still important to improve condition.

  7. spatial distribution pattern of the steppe toad-headed lizard (phrynocephalus frontalis) and its influencing factors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2012-01-01

    spatial distribution patterns are associated with life history and behavioral adaptations of animals.for studying the spatial distribution pattern of the steppe toad-headed lizard (phrynocephalusfrontalis) and its influencing factors,we conducted experiments in hunshandake sandy land in inner mongolia,china in july 2009.by calculating the clustered indices,we found that the lizard was aggregately distributed when the sampling quadrat was smaller than 10 m × 10 m,and uniformly distributed when it was greater than 10 m × 10 m.the nearest neighbor rule showed a clustering distribution pattern for p frontalis and the distribution pattern was quadrat-sampling dependent.furthermore,the cluster was determined by environmental factors when the sampling quadrat was smaller than 20 m × 20 m,but it was determined by both environmental factors and characteristics of the lizard when it was larger than 20 m × 20 m.our results suggested that the steppe toad-headed lizards tended to aggregate into suitable habitat patches in desert areas.additionally,we discussed that the lizard aggregation could be potentially used as an indictor of movement of sand dunes.

  8. Understanding lizard's microhabitat use based on a mechanistic model of behavioral thermoregulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, Teng; Venus, Valentijn; Toxopeus, Bert; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Schlerf, Martin; Liu, Yaolin; van Overdijk, Sjef; Bian, Meng

    2008-12-01

    Lizards are an "excellent group of organisms" to examine the habitat and microhabitat use mainly because their ecology and physiology is well studied. Due to their behavioral body temperature regulation, the thermal environment is especially linked with their habitat use. In this study, for mapping and understanding lizard's distribution at microhabitat scale, an individual of Timon Lepidus was kept and monitored in a terrarium (245×120×115cm) in which sand, rocks, burrows, hatching chambers, UV-lamps, fog generators and heating devices were placed to simulate its natural habitat. Optical cameras, thermal cameras and other data loggers were fixed and recording the lizard's body temperature, ground surface temperature, air temperature, radiation and other important environmental parameters. By analysis the data collected, we propose a Cellular Automata (CA) model by which the movement of lizards is simulated and translated into their distribution. This paper explores the capabilities of applying GIS techniques to thermoregulatory activity studies in a microhabitat-scale. We conclude that microhabitat use of lizards can be explained in some degree by the rule based CA model.

  9. Are mountain habitats becoming more suitable for generalist than cold-adapted lizards thermoregulation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Mountain lizards are highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continuous warming of their habitats could be seriously threatening their survival. We aim to compare the thermal ecology and microhabitat selection of a mountain lizard, Iberolacerta galani, and a widely distributed lizard, Podarcis bocagei, in a montane area. Both species are currently in close syntopy in the study area, at 1,400 m above the sea level. We determined the precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation, and the thermal quality of habitat for both species. We also compared the selection of thermal microhabitats between both species. Results show that I. galani is a cold-adapted thermal specialist with a preferred temperature range of 27.9-29.7 °C, while P. bocagei would be a thermal generalist, with a broader and higher preferred temperature range (30.1-34.5 °C). In addition, I. galani selects rocky substrates while P. bocagei selects warmer soil and leaf litter substrates. The thermal quality of the habitat is higher for P. bocagei than for I. galani. Finally, P. bocagei achieves a significantly higher effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.87) than I. galani (0.80). Therefore, these mountain habitat conditions seem currently more suitable for performance of thermophilic generalist lizards than for cold-specialist lizards.

  10. Are mountain habitats becoming more suitable for generalist than cold-adapted lizards thermoregulation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaida Ortega

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Mountain lizards are highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continuous warming of their habitats could be seriously threatening their survival. We aim to compare the thermal ecology and microhabitat selection of a mountain lizard, Iberolacerta galani, and a widely distributed lizard, Podarcis bocagei, in a montane area. Both species are currently in close syntopy in the study area, at 1,400 m above the sea level. We determined the precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation, and the thermal quality of habitat for both species. We also compared the selection of thermal microhabitats between both species. Results show that I. galani is a cold-adapted thermal specialist with a preferred temperature range of 27.9–29.7 °C, while P. bocagei would be a thermal generalist, with a broader and higher preferred temperature range (30.1–34.5 °C. In addition, I. galani selects rocky substrates while P. bocagei selects warmer soil and leaf litter substrates. The thermal quality of the habitat is higher for P. bocagei than for I. galani. Finally, P. bocagei achieves a significantly higher effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.87 than I. galani (0.80. Therefore, these mountain habitat conditions seem currently more suitable for performance of thermophilic generalist lizards than for cold-specialist lizards.

  11. Photographic capture-recapture sampling for assessing populations of the Indian gliding lizard Draco dussumieri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreekar, Rachakonda; Purushotham, Chetana B; Saini, Katya; Rao, Shyam N; Pelletier, Simon; Chaplod, Saniya

    2013-01-01

    The usage of invasive tagging methods to assess lizard populations has often been criticised, due to the potential negative effects of marking, which possibly cause increased mortality or altered behaviour. The development of safe, less invasive techniques is essential for improved ecological study and conservation of lizard populations. In this study, we describe a photographic capture-recapture (CR) technique for estimating Draco dussumieri (Agamidae) populations. We used photographs of the ventral surface of the patagium to identify individuals. To establish that the naturally occurring blotches remained constant through time, we compared capture and recapture photographs of 45 pen-marked individuals after a 30 day interval. No changes in blotches were observed and individual lizards could be identified with 100% accuracy. The population density of D. dussumieri in a two hectare areca-nut plantation was estimated using the CR technique with ten sampling occasions over a ten day period. The resulting recapture histories for 24 individuals were analysed using population models in the program CAPTURE. All models indicated that nearly all individuals were captured. The estimated probability for capturing D. dussumieri on at least one occasion was 0.92 and the estimated population density was 13±1.65 lizards/ha. Our results demonstrate the potential for applying CR to population studies in gliding lizards (Draco spp.) and other species with distinctive markings.

  12. Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Daniel W A; Carazo, Pau; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-12-23

    Spatial cognition is predicted to be a fundamental component of fitness in many lizard species, and yet some studies suggest that it is relatively slow and inflexible. However, such claims are based on work conducted using experimental designs or in artificial contexts that may underestimate their cognitive abilities. We used a biologically realistic experimental procedure (using simulated predatory attacks) to study spatial learning and its flexibility in the lizard Eulamprus quoyii in semi-natural outdoor enclosures under similar conditions to those experienced by lizards in the wild. To evaluate the flexibility of spatial learning, we conducted a reversal spatial-learning task in which positive and negative reinforcements of learnt spatial stimuli were switched. Nineteen (32%) male lizards learnt both tasks within 10 days (spatial task mean: 8.16 ± 0.69 (s.e.) and reversal spatial task mean: 10.74 ± 0.98 (s.e.) trials). We demonstrate that E. quoyii are capable of flexible spatial learning and suggest that future studies focus on a range of lizard species which differ in phylogeny and/or ecology, using biologically relevant cognitive tasks, in an effort to bridge the cognitive divide between ecto- and endotherms.

  13. Local enhancement and social foraging in a non-social insular lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2015-05-01

    Even in solitary foragers, conspecifics can provide reliable information about food location. The insular lizard Podarcis lilfordi is a solitary species with high population densities that sometimes aggregate around rich food patches. Its diet includes novel and unpredictable resources, such as carcasses or plants, whose exploitation quickly became widespread among the population. We tested the use of social information by lizards through some field experiments in which they had to choose one of the two pieces of fruit. Probably due to local enhancement, lizards preferred to feed on the piece of fruit where conspecifics or lizard-shaped models were already present. Conspecifics' behaviour, but also their mere presence, seems to be a valuable source of information to decide where to feed. Lizards also showed a strong attraction to conspecifics, even in the absence of food. Maybe the presence of a group is interpreted as an indirect cue for the presence of food. The group size was not important to females, but males had a significantly higher attraction towards groups with three conspecifics. We discuss some characteristics of P. lilfordi at Aire Island that can explain the development of the observed social foraging, as well as their possible consequences.

  14. Short-term dispersal response of an endangered Australian lizard varies with time of year.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahimi, Mehregan; Bull, C Michael

    2014-01-01

    Dispersal is an important component in the demography of animal populations. Many animals show seasonal changes in their tendency to disperse, reflecting changes in resource availability, mating opportunities, or in population age structure at the time when new offspring enter the population. Understanding when and why dispersal occurs can be important for the management of endangered species. The pygmy bluetongue lizard is an endangered Australian species that occupies and defends single burrow refuges for extended periods of time, rarely moving far from the burrow entrance. However, previous pitfall trapping data have suggested movement of adult males in spring and of juveniles in autumn of each year. In the current study we compared behaviours of adult lizards each month, over the spring-summer activity period over two consecutive field seasons, to provide deeper understanding of the seasonal dispersal pattern. We released adult pygmy bluetongue lizards into a central area, provided with artificial burrows, within large enclosures, and monitored the behaviour and movements of the released lizards over a four day period. There was a consistent decline in time spent basking, amount of movement around burrow entrances, and rates of dispersal from the central release area from early spring to late summer. Results could be relevant to understanding and managing natural populations and for any translocation attempts of this endangered lizard species.

  15. Carotenoid-Based Colours Reflect the Stress Response in the Common Lizard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitze, Patrick S.; Cote, Julien; San-Jose, Luis Martin; Meylan, Sandrine; Isaksson, Caroline; Andersson, Staffan; Rossi, Jean-Marc; Clobert, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Under chronic stress, carotenoid-based colouration has often been shown to fade. However, the ecological and physiological mechanisms that govern colouration still remain largely unknown. Colour changes may be directly induced by the stressor (for example through reduced carotenoid intake) or due to the activation of the physiological stress response (PSR, e.g. due to increased blood corticosterone concentrations). Here, we tested whether blood corticosterone concentration affected carotenoid-based colouration, and whether a trade-off between colouration and PSR existed. Using the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara), we correlatively and experimentally showed that elevated blood corticosterone levels are associated with increased redness of the lizard's belly. In this study, the effects of corticosterone did not depend on carotenoid ingestion, indicating the absence of a trade-off between colouration and PSR for carotenoids. While carotenoid ingestion increased blood carotenoid concentration, colouration was not modified. This suggests that carotenoid-based colouration of common lizards is not severely limited by dietary carotenoid intake. Together with earlier studies, these findings suggest that the common lizard's carotenoid-based colouration may be a composite trait, consisting of fixed (e.g. genetic) and environmentally elements, the latter reflecting the lizard's PSR. PMID:19352507

  16. Turn up the heat: thermal tolerances of lizards at La Selva, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusch, George A; Taylor, Emily N; Whitfield, Steven M

    2016-02-01

    Global temperature increases over the next century are predicted to contribute to the extinction of a number of taxa, including up to 40% of all lizard species. Lizards adapted to living in lowland tropical areas are especially vulnerable because of their dependence on specific microhabitats, low vagility, and a reduced capacity to physiologically adjust to environmental change. To assess the potential effects of climate change on lizards in the lowland tropics, we measured the critical thermal maximum (CTmax) of ten species from La Selva, Costa Rica. We also examined how well body size, microhabitat type, and species predicted the CTmax. We used current temperature data along with projected temperature increases for 2080 to predict which species may be at the greatest risk at La Selva. Of the ten species sampled, four are at serious risk of lowland extirpation and three others might also be at risk under the highest predicted temperature-increase models. Forest floor lizards at La Selva have already experienced significant population declines over the past 40 years, and we found that each of the forest floor species we studied is at serious risk of local extirpation. We also found that microhabitat type is the strongest predictor of CTmax, demonstrating the profound impact habitat specialization has on the thermal limits of tropical lizards.

  17. Photographic capture-recapture sampling for assessing populations of the Indian gliding lizard Draco dussumieri.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachakonda Sreekar

    Full Text Available The usage of invasive tagging methods to assess lizard populations has often been criticised, due to the potential negative effects of marking, which possibly cause increased mortality or altered behaviour. The development of safe, less invasive techniques is essential for improved ecological study and conservation of lizard populations. In this study, we describe a photographic capture-recapture (CR technique for estimating Draco dussumieri (Agamidae populations. We used photographs of the ventral surface of the patagium to identify individuals. To establish that the naturally occurring blotches remained constant through time, we compared capture and recapture photographs of 45 pen-marked individuals after a 30 day interval. No changes in blotches were observed and individual lizards could be identified with 100% accuracy. The population density of D. dussumieri in a two hectare areca-nut plantation was estimated using the CR technique with ten sampling occasions over a ten day period. The resulting recapture histories for 24 individuals were analysed using population models in the program CAPTURE. All models indicated that nearly all individuals were captured. The estimated probability for capturing D. dussumieri on at least one occasion was 0.92 and the estimated population density was 13±1.65 lizards/ha. Our results demonstrate the potential for applying CR to population studies in gliding lizards (Draco spp. and other species with distinctive markings.

  18. Reproduction and morphology of the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) from montane populations in Slovakia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horváthová, Terézia; Baláž, Michal; Jandzik, David

    2013-02-01

    The common lizard, Zootoca vivipara (Lichtenstein, 1823), shows high variation in life histories and morphology across its range, which comprises almost the entire Palearctic region. However, this variation is not congruent with the species phylogeny. This suggests an important role of the environment in shaping the variation in morphology and life histories of this species. As most data on life histories originate from only a small number of populations and do not cover the species' geographic range and phylogenetic diversity, to fill a gap and provide more information for future comparative studies we investigated reproduction and morphology in two montane populations from Slovakia, central Europe. This region is characterized by taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity and both montane and lowland ecological forms of the common lizard occur here. The common lizards from the Slovak populations are sexually dimorphic, with females having larger body and abdomen lengths and males having larger heads and longer legs. Female common lizards start to reproduce at a relatively large size compared to most other populations. This is consistent with a relatively short activity season, which has been shown to be the main factor driving variation in body size in the common lizard. Clutch size was also relatively high and positively correlated with body size, abdomen size and head size. One third of all females attaining the size of the smallest gravid female showed no signs of reproductive activity despite mating opportunities, suggesting that not all females reproduce annually in this population.

  19. Carotenoid-based colours reflect the stress response in the common lizard.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick S Fitze

    Full Text Available Under chronic stress, carotenoid-based colouration has often been shown to fade. However, the ecological and physiological mechanisms that govern colouration still remain largely unknown. Colour changes may be directly induced by the stressor (for example through reduced carotenoid intake or due to the activation of the physiological stress response (PSR, e.g. due to increased blood corticosterone concentrations. Here, we tested whether blood corticosterone concentration affected carotenoid-based colouration, and whether a trade-off between colouration and PSR existed. Using the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara, we correlatively and experimentally showed that elevated blood corticosterone levels are associated with increased redness of the lizard's belly. In this study, the effects of corticosterone did not depend on carotenoid ingestion, indicating the absence of a trade-off between colouration and PSR for carotenoids. While carotenoid ingestion increased blood carotenoid concentration, colouration was not modified. This suggests that carotenoid-based colouration of common lizards is not severely limited by dietary carotenoid intake. Together with earlier studies, these findings suggest that the common lizard's carotenoid-based colouration may be a composite trait, consisting of fixed (e.g. genetic and environmentally elements, the latter reflecting the lizard's PSR.

  20. Carotenoid-based colours reflect the stress response in the common lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitze, Patrick S; Cote, Julien; San-Jose, Luis Martin; Meylan, Sandrine; Isaksson, Caroline; Andersson, Staffan; Rossi, Jean-Marc; Clobert, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Under chronic stress, carotenoid-based colouration has often been shown to fade. However, the ecological and physiological mechanisms that govern colouration still remain largely unknown. Colour changes may be directly induced by the stressor (for example through reduced carotenoid intake) or due to the activation of the physiological stress response (PSR, e.g. due to increased blood corticosterone concentrations). Here, we tested whether blood corticosterone concentration affected carotenoid-based colouration, and whether a trade-off between colouration and PSR existed. Using the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara), we correlatively and experimentally showed that elevated blood corticosterone levels are associated with increased redness of the lizard's belly. In this study, the effects of corticosterone did not depend on carotenoid ingestion, indicating the absence of a trade-off between colouration and PSR for carotenoids. While carotenoid ingestion increased blood carotenoid concentration, colouration was not modified. This suggests that carotenoid-based colouration of common lizards is not severely limited by dietary carotenoid intake. Together with earlier studies, these findings suggest that the common lizard's carotenoid-based colouration may be a composite trait, consisting of fixed (e.g. genetic) and environmentally elements, the latter reflecting the lizard's PSR.

  1. High antipredatory efficiency of insular lizards: a warning signal of excessive specimen collection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Delibes

    Full Text Available We live-captured lizards on islands in the Gulf of California and the Baja California peninsula mainland, and compared their ability to escape predation. Contrary to expectations, endemic lizard species from uninhabited islands fled from humans earlier and more efficiently than those from peninsular mainland areas. In fact, 58.2% (n=146 of the lizards we tried to capture on the various islands escaped successfully, while this percentage was only 14.4% (n=160 on the peninsular mainland. Separate evidence (e.g., proportion of regenerated tails, low human population at the collection areas, etc. challenges several potential explanations for the higher antipredatory efficiency of insular lizards (e.g., more predation pressure on islands, habituation to humans on the peninsula, etc.. Instead, we suggest that the ability of insular lizards to avoid predators may be related to harvesting by humans, perhaps due to the value of endemic species as rare taxonomic entities. If this hypothesis is correct, predation-related behavioral changes in rare species could provide early warning signals of their over-exploitation, thus encouraging the adoption of conservation measures.

  2. Population genetic structure, gene flow and sex-biased dispersal in frillneck lizards (Chlamydosaurus kingii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujvari, Beata; Dowton, Mark; Madsen, Thomas

    2008-08-01

    By using both mitochondrial and nuclear multiloci markers, we explored population genetic structure, gene flow and sex-specific dispersal of frillneck lizards (Chlamydosaurus kingii) sampled at three locations, separated by 10 to 50 km, in a homogenous savannah woodland in tropical Australia. Apart from a recombinant lizard, the mitochondrial analyses revealed two nonoverlapping haplotypes/populations, while the nuclear markers showed that the frillneck lizards represented three separate clusters/populations. Due to the small population size of the mtDNA, fixation may occur via founder effects and/or drift. We therefore suggest that either of these two processes, or a combination of the two, are the most likely causes of the discordant results obtained from the mitochondrial and the nuclear markers. In contrast to the nonoverlapping mitochondrial haplotypes, in 12 out of 74 lizards, mixed nuclear genotypes were observed, hence revealing a limited nuclear gene flow. Although gene flow should ultimately result in a blending of the populations, we propose that the distinct nuclear population structure is maintained by frequent fires resulting in local bottlenecks, and concomitant spatial separation of the frillneck lizard populations. Limited mark-recapture data and the difference in distribution of the mitochondrial and nuclear markers suggest that the mixed nuclear genotypes were caused by juvenile male-biased dispersal.

  3. Can changes in the distribution of lizard species over the past 50 years be attributed to climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianguo

    2016-08-01

    We analyzed changes in the distributions of nine lizard species in China over the past 50 years and identified whether these changes could be attributed to climate change. Long-term records of lizard distributions, grey relational analysis, fuzzy set classification techniques, and attribution methods were used. The distribution of nearly half of the lizard species primarily shifted northward, westward, or eastward since the 1970s, and most changes were related to the thermal index. In response to climate change over the past 50 years, the distribution boundary and center of some species have mainly shifted northward, westward, or eastward, with some irregular shifting during the process. The observed and predicted changes in distribution were highly consistent for some lizard species. The changes in the northern and eastern distribution limits of nearly half of the lizard species and the western limits and distribution centers of several species can be attributed to climate change.

  4. Empowering African States

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    China helps bring lasting peace and stability to Africa African think tanks expressed a high opinion of China’s role in helping build African peace and security at the first meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum. The

  5. African Literature as Celebration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achebe, Chinua

    1989-01-01

    Describes the Igbo tradition of "Mbari," a communal creative enterprise that celebrates the world and the life lived in it through art. Contrasts the cooperative, social dimension of pre-colonial African culture with the exclusion and denial of European colonialism, and sees new African literature again celebrating human presence and…

  6. African American Suicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    African American Suicide Fact Sheet Based on 2012 Data (2014) Overview • In 2012, 2,357 African Americans completed suicide in the U.S. Of these, 1,908 (80. ... rate of 9.23 per 100,000). The suicide rate for females was 1.99 per 100, ...

  7. African Peacekeepers in Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Emmanuel, Nikolas G.

    2015-01-01

    behind African participation in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations in Africa. In doing so, this research focuses on US military aid and foreign troop training from 2002 to 2012, and its impact on African deployments into UN peacekeeping missions in Africa. As can be expected, such third...

  8. African agricultural trade

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Hans Grinsted; Sandrey, Ron

    2015-01-01

    This article starts with a profile of African agricultural trade. Using the pre-release version 9.2 of the GTAP database, we then show that the results for tariff elimination on intra-African trade are promising, but these tariff barriers are not as significant as the various trade-related barriers...

  9. Causes of habitat divergence in two species of agamid lizards in arid central Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Benjamin G; Dickman, Chris R; Crowther, Mathew S

    2008-01-01

    The deserts of central Australia contain richer communities of lizards than any other arid regions, with the highest diversity occurring in sand dune habitats dominated by hummock-forming spinifex grasses. To investigate the mechanisms that permit coexistence, we studied two species of coexisting agamid lizards that exhibit striking divergence in their use of habitat in the Simpson Desert of central Australia. Here, the military dragon Ctenophorus isolepis is restricted primarily to sites providing > 30% cover of hard spinifex Triodia basedowii, whereas the central netted dragon C. nuchalis occurs in areas with much sparser (thermal environments or different prey types and that each selects the habitats that maximize access to them. Both were supported. C. isolepis preferred lower temperatures when active and specialized in eating ants ecological interactions, allowing lizard species to partition biotic and abiotic resources and achieve the extraordinarily high levels of local diversity that are observed.

  10. Stable isotope ecology of a hyper-diverse community of scincid lizards from arid Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundler, Maggie R; Pianka, Eric R; Pelegrin, Nicolás; Cowan, Mark A; Rabosky, Daniel L

    2017-01-01

    We assessed the utility of stable isotope analysis as a tool for understanding community ecological structure in a species-rich clade of scincid lizards from one of the world's most diverse lizard communities. Using a phylogenetic comparative framework, we tested whether δ15N and δ13C isotopic composition from individual lizards was correlated with species-specific estimates of diet and habitat use. We find that species are highly divergent in isotopic composition with significant correlations to habitat use, but this relationship shows no phylogenetic signal. Isotopic composition corresponds to empirical observations of diet for some species but much variation remains unexplained. We demonstrate the importance of using a multianalytical approach to questions of long-term dietary preference, and suggest that the use of stable isotopes in combination with stomach content analysis and empirical data on habitat use can potentially reveal patterns in ecological traits at finer scales with important implications for community structuring.

  11. Levels of helminth infection in the flat lizard Tropidurus semitaeniatus from north-eastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezerra, C H; Ávila, R W; Passos, D C; Zanchi-Silva, D; Galdino, C A B

    2016-11-01

    Parasites represent a great, unknown component of animal biodiversity. Recent efforts have begun to uncover patterns of infection by helminth parasites in several Neotropical lizards. The present study reports, for the first time, levels of helminth infection in a population of the flat lizard Tropidurus semitaeniatus. One hundred and thirty-nine lizards were examined and evidence of five intestinal helminth species was found, comprising four species of nematodes, one species of cestode and an unidentified encysted larval nematode. The most frequently occurring species was the intestinal nematode Parapharyngodon alvarengai, which did not exhibit differences in prevalence and intensity of infection relative to host sex or age/body size. Furthermore, helminth species richness was not related to host body size.

  12. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2012-12-01

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is marked by a major mass extinction, yet this event is thought to have had little effect on the diversity of lizards and snakes (Squamata). A revision of fossil squamates from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of North America shows that lizards and snakes suffered a devastating mass extinction coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Species-level extinction was 83%, and the K-Pg event resulted in the elimination of many lizard groups and a dramatic decrease in morphological disparity. Survival was associated with small body size and perhaps large geographic range. The recovery was prolonged; diversity did not approach Cretaceous levels until 10 My after the extinction, and resulted in a dramatic change in faunal composition. The squamate fossil record shows that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was far more severe than previously believed, and underscores the role played by mass extinctions in driving diversification.

  13. Nutritional perfomance of Tupinambis merianae lizards fed with corn starch as source of energy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harold Vega Parry

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Efficiency in processing complex carbohydrates as a source of energy was studied in Tupinambis merianae lizards. Four isoproteic and isoenergetic diets in which different percentages of corn starch substituted fat (0, 10, 20 and 30 dry matter in the diet were provided. Even though consumption was similar in all diets, growth and feeding conversion rates decreased significantly with corn starch supplies of 10% and more. At the end of the trial, pancreatic alpha-amylase activity showed correlated increases, yet these were insufficient to compensate corn starch supplies. Results suggest that Tupinambis merianae lizards have a restricted omnivorous capacity. Therefore, diet formulation for these lizards should exclude high molecular weight carbohydrates.

  14. Mid-Cretaceous amber fossils illuminate the past diversity of tropical lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daza, Juan D; Stanley, Edward L; Wagner, Philipp; Bauer, Aaron M; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-03-01

    Modern tropical forests harbor an enormous diversity of squamates, but fossilization in such environments is uncommon and little is known about tropical lizard assemblages of the Mesozoic. We report the oldest lizard assemblage preserved in amber, providing insight into the poorly preserved but potentially diverse mid-Cretaceous paleotropics. Twelve specimens from the Albian-Cenomanian boundary of Myanmar (99 Ma) preserve fine details of soft tissue and osteology, and high-resolution x-ray computed tomography permits detailed comparisons to extant and extinct lizards. The extraordinary preservation allows several specimens to be confidently assigned to groups including stem Gekkota and stem Chamaleonidae. Other taxa are assignable to crown clades on the basis of similar traits. The detailed preservation of osteological and soft tissue characters in these specimens may facilitate their precise phylogenetic placement, making them useful calibration points for molecular divergence time estimates and potential keys for resolving conflicts in higher-order squamate relationships.

  15. Chronic electrical stimulation drives mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle of a lizard, Varanus exanthematicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Paul J; Nichols, Scott D; Lindstedt, Stan L

    2007-10-01

    We investigated the capacity for phenotypic plasticity of skeletal muscle from Varanus exanthematicus, the savannah monitor lizard. Iliofibularis muscle from one leg of each lizard was electrically stimulated for 8 weeks. Both stimulated and contralateral control muscles were collected and processed for electron microscopy. We used stereological analysis of muscle cross-sections to quantify the volume densities of contractile elements, sarcoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria and intracellular lipids. We found that mitochondrial volume density was approximately fourfold higher in the stimulated muscle compared to controls, which were similar to previously reported values. Sarcoplasmic reticulum volume density was reduced by an amount similar to the increase in mitochondrial volume density while the volume density of contractile elements remained unchanged. Intracellular lipid accumulation was visibly apparent in many stimulated muscle sections but the volume density of lipids did not reach a significant difference. Although monitor lizards lack the highly developed aerobic metabolism of mammals, they appear to possess the capacity for muscle plasticity.

  16. Population and conservation strategies for the Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus in China

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    Huang, C. M.

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus is an unusual anguimorph lizard found mainly in China. Transect surveys estimate a total wild population of about 950 individuals in China. This is a dramatic decrease compared with previous surveys. At present, there are only eight areas of distribution. No Chinese crocodile lizards have been found in four former areas for several years. Investigations have demonstrated that poaching has contributed directly to the population decline. Habitat destruction, and in particular water flow, is the second most important factor. Mining, small scale dam construction, electro-fishing and poisoning of fish in the stream also contribute to population decline. Therefore, educating local people, punishing illegal poaching, and strengthening scientific research are urgent.

  17. Effects of dexamethasone and gonadotropins on the testis of the adrenalectomized lizard Mabuya carinata (Schn.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yajurvedi, H N; Chandramohan, K

    1994-02-01

    The effects of gonadotropins (LH + FSH) and dexamethasone on the spermatogenic and steroidogenic activity in the adrenalectomized Mabuya carinata have been studied. Secondary spermatocytes, spermatids, and spermatozoa were absent, and there was a significant decrease in the activity levels of delta 5-3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (delta 5-3 beta-HSDH) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in the adrenalectomized lizards compared with those of controls. Administration of either dexamethasone or LH + FSH to adrenalectomized lizards resulted in restoration of testicular activity as revealed by the appearance of secondary spermatocytes, spermatids, and spermatozoa and a significant increase in the activity level of delta 5-3 beta-HSDH compared to that of adrenalectomized lizards. The results indicate that impairment in gonadotropin secretion might be a major factor in inducing testicular regression following adrenalectomy in M. carinata.

  18. A new Early Cretaceous lizard with well-preserved scale impressions from western Liaoning, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JI Shu'an

    2005-01-01

    A new small lizard, Liaoningolacerta brevirostra gen. et sp. nov., from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of western Liaoning is described in detail. The new specimen was preserved not only by the skeleton, but also by the exceptionally clear scale impressions. This lizard can be included within the taxon Scleroglossa based on its 26 or more presacrals, cruciform interclavicle with a large anterior process, moderately elongated pubis, and slightly notched distal end of tibia. The scales vary evidently in size and shape at different parts of body: small and rhomboid ventral scales, tiny and round limb scales, and large and longitudinally rectangular caudal scales that constitute the caudal whorls. This new finding provides us with more information on the lepidosis of the Mesozoic lizards.

  19. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2012-01-01

    The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is marked by a major mass extinction, yet this event is thought to have had little effect on the diversity of lizards and snakes (Squamata). A revision of fossil squamates from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of North America shows that lizards and snakes suffered a devastating mass extinction coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Species-level extinction was 83%, and the K-Pg event resulted in the elimination of many lizard groups and a dramatic decrease in morphological disparity. Survival was associated with small body size and perhaps large geographic range. The recovery was prolonged; diversity did not approach Cretaceous levels until 10 My after the extinction, and resulted in a dramatic change in faunal composition. The squamate fossil record shows that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was far more severe than previously believed, and underscores the role played by mass extinctions in driving diversification. PMID:23236177

  20. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2012-12-26

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary is marked by a major mass extinction, yet this event is thought to have had little effect on the diversity of lizards and snakes (Squamata). A revision of fossil squamates from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of North America shows that lizards and snakes suffered a devastating mass extinction coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Species-level extinction was 83%, and the K-Pg event resulted in the elimination of many lizard groups and a dramatic decrease in morphological disparity. Survival was associated with small body size and perhaps large geographic range. The recovery was prolonged; diversity did not approach Cretaceous levels until 10 My after the extinction, and resulted in a dramatic change in faunal composition. The squamate fossil record shows that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction was far more severe than previously believed, and underscores the role played by mass extinctions in driving diversification.

  1. Incubation temperature modifies neonatal thermoregulation in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Rachel M; Walguarnery, Justin W

    2007-08-01

    The thermal environment experienced during embryonic development can profoundly affect the phenotype, and potentially the fitness, of ectothermic animals. We examined the effect of incubation temperature on the thermal preferences of juveniles in the oviparous lizard, Anolis carolinensis. Temperature preference trials were conducted in a laboratory thermal gradient within 48 hr of hatching and after 22-27 days of maintenance in a common laboratory environment. Incubation temperature had a significant effect on the upper limit of the interquartile range (IQR) of temperatures selected by A. carolinensis within the first 2 days after hatching. Between the first and second trials, the IQR of selected temperatures decreased significantly and both the lower limit of the IQR and the median selected temperature increased significantly. This, along with a significant incubation temperature by time interaction in the upper limit of the IQR, resulted in a pattern of convergence in thermoregulation among treatment groups. The initial differences in selected temperatures, as well as the shift in selected temperatures between first and second trials, demonstrate plasticity in temperature selection. As a previous study failed to find environmentally induced plasticity in temperature selection in adult A. carolinensis, this study suggests that this type of plasticity is exclusive to the period of neonatal development.

  2. Female ornamentation influences male courtship investment in a lizard

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    Devi Meian Stuart-Fox

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Female signals of reproductive status often comprise both distinctive colour patches and behaviours but their relative influence on male courtship investment is unclear. We examined the role of female-specific colouration in signalling reproductive condition and quality to males in the Lake Eyre dragon lizard, Ctenophorus maculosus. Females of this species develop intense orange ventral coloration when sexually receptive, which fades to white only after laying. To separate the effect of colour and behaviour, we manipulated the presence of female orange ventral colouration within different periods of the reproductive cycle in which females display qualitatively different behaviours. In a separate manipulation, we tested whether the presence of an ultraviolet (UV component, size and intensity of female orange patches influenced male courtship investment. Males tended to chase, bite and copulate more with orange than white females, irrespective of reproductive state. However, males copulated much more frequently with receptive females than non-receptive or gravid females, consistent with females’ behavioural acceptance of copulations during this stage. Males courted females with small orange patches the most, and had an overall preference for intense colour patches (as opposed to pale orange patches, regardless of the presence of UV. Our results suggest that female orange coloration signals reproductive condition, specifically receptivity, and that small, intensely orange patches signal that females are more likely to be receptive. Female ornamentation therefore encodes information used by males to make decisions regarding courtship investment.

  3. Ground resistance influences lizard burial in dry and wet sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Sarah; Kuckuk, Robyn; Goldman, Daniel

    2012-11-01

    Many terrestrial animals move within soil in which water content can vary, and little is known about how water content affects locomotor performance. To investigate the effect of water content on burial, we created controlled dry and wet substrates. We used 0.3 mm glass particles and varied water content W, the mass of water to mass of dry loosely packed sand. Drag force on a submerged 1.6 cm diameter rod increased by a factor of 4 as W increased from 0 to 0.03, after which force increases were small. Drag force in wet media periodically fluctuated with time and corresponded with surface fracturing. We characterized how W affected burial performance and strategy of a generalist burrower, the ocellated skink lizard (Chalcides ocellatus). High speed x-ray imaging was used to measure head, body and limb kinematics in substrates with W= 0 and W= 0.03. In both states during burial the body was maintained in a curved posture and the animal moved using a start-stop motion. During movement, the head oscillated and the forelimb on the convex side of the body was used to push the animal forward. Both speed and angular excursion of the head oscillation decreased in the W= 0.03 state. The differences in locomotion were attributed to the changing resistance force within the media.

  4. Sleep and wakefulness in the green iguanid lizard (Iguana iguana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayala-Guerrero, F; Mexicano, G

    2008-11-01

    The reptile Iguana iguana exhibits four states of vigilance: active wakefulness (AW), quiet wakefulness (QW), quiet sleep (QS) and active sleep (AS). Cerebral activity decreases in amplitude and frequency when passing from wakefulness to QS. Both parameters show a slight increase during AS. Heart rate is at a maximum during AW (43.8+/-7.9 beats/min), decreases to a minimum in QS (25.3+/-3.2 beats/min) and increases in AS (36.1+/-5.7 beats/min). Tonical and phasical muscular activity is present in wakefulness, decreases or disappears in QS and reappears in AS. Single or conjugate ocular movements are observed during wakefulness, then disappear in QS and abruptly reappear in AS. Although these reptiles are polyphasic, their sleep shows a tendency to concentrate between 20:00 and 8:00 h. Quiet sleep occupies the greater percentage of the total sleep time. Active sleep episodes are of very short duration, showing an average of 21.5+/-4.9 (mean+/-SD). Compensatory increment of sleep following its total deprivation was significant only for QS. Reaction to stimuli decreased significantly when passing from wakefulness to sleep. It is suggested that the lizard I. iguana displays two sleep phases behaviorally and somatovegetatively similar to slow wave sleep and paradoxical sleep in birds and mammals.

  5. Evidence for facilitated lactate uptake in lizard skeletal muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, E R; Gleeson, T T

    2001-12-01

    To understand more fully lactate metabolism in reptilian muscle, lactate uptake in lizard skeletal muscle was measured and its similarities to the monocarboxylate transport system found in mammals were examined. At 2 min, uptake rates of 15 mmol l(-1) lactate into red iliofibularis (rIF) were 2.4- and 2.2-fold greater than white iliofibularis (wIF) and mouse soleus, respectively. alpha-Cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate (15 mmol l(-1)) caused little inhibition of uptake in wIF but caused a 42-54 % reduction in the uptake rate of lactate into rIF, suggesting that much of the lactate uptake by rIF is via protein-mediated transport. N-ethymaleimide (ETH) (10 mmol l(-1)) also caused a reduction in the rate of uptake, but measurements of adenylate and phosphocreatine concentrations show that ETH had serious effects on rIF and wIF and may not be appropriate for transport inhibition studies in reptiles. The higher net uptake rate by rIF than by wIF agrees with the fact that rIF shows much higher rates of lactate utilization and incorporation into glycogen than wIF. This study also suggests that lactate uptake by reptilian muscle is similar to that by mammalian muscle and that, evolutionarily, this transport system may be relatively conserved even in animals with very different patterns of lactate metabolism.

  6. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in Mexican alligator lizards, Barisia imbricata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dashevsky, Daniel; Meik, Jesse M; Mociño-Deloya, Estrella; Setser, Kirk; Schaack, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    We compare morphological characteristics of male and female Barisia imbricata, Mexican alligator lizards, and find that mass, head length, coloration, incidence of scars from conspecifics, tail loss, and frequency of bearing the color/pattern of the opposite sex are all sexually dimorphic traits. Overall size (measured as snout–vent length), on the other hand, is not different between the two sexes. We use data on bite scar frequency and fecundity to evaluate competing hypotheses regarding the selective forces driving these patterns. We contend that sexual selection, acting through male-male competition, may favor larger mass and head size in males, whereas large females are likely favored by natural selection for greater fecundity. In addition, the frequency of opposite-sex patterning in males versus females may indicate that the costs of agonistic interactions among males are severe enough to allow for an alternative mating strategy. Finally, we discuss how sexual and natural selective forces may interact to drive or mask the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits. PMID:23467394

  7. Extinction, reintroduction, and restoration of a lizard meta-population equilibrium in the Missouri Ozarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sites, Jack W

    2013-07-01

    In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Neuwald & Templeton (2013) report on a 22-year study of natural populations of Collared Lizards (Crotaphytus collaris) that evolved on isolated on rock outcrops (‘glades’) in the Ozark Mountains in eastern Missouri. This ecosystem was originally maintained by frequent fires that kept the forest understory open, but fire-suppression was adopted as official policy in about 1945, which led to a loss of native biodiversity, including local extinctions of some lizard populations. Policies aimed at restoring biodiversity included controlled burns and re-introductions of lizards to some glades, which began in 1984. Populations were monitored from 1984–2006, and demographic and genetic data collected from 1 679 lizards were used to documents shifts in meta-population dynamics over four distinct phases of lizard recovery: 1–an initial translocation of lizards drawn from the same source populations onto three glades that were likely part of one metapopulation; 2–a period of isolation and genetic drift associated with the absence of fires; 3–a period of rapid colonization and population increase following restoration of fire; and 4–stabilization of the meta-population under regular prescribed burning. This study system thus provides a rare opportunity to characterize the dynamics of a landscape-scale management strategy on the restoration of the meta-population of a reintroduced species; long-term case studies of the extinction, founding, increase, and stabilization of a well-defined meta-population, based on both demographic and population genetic data, are rare in the conservation, ecological, and evolutionary literature.

  8. The importance of remnant native vegetation of Amazonian submontane forest for the conservation of lizards

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    DJ Silva

    Full Text Available Forest fragmentation affects animal population dynamics mainly by loss of habitat and disruption of animal movement. Lizard assemblages are affected by environmental changes, but, depending on their ecological needs, some species might be more vulnerable than others. The southern Amazon suffers accelerated anthropic actions replacing natural environments by farmland (crops and pasture. This region is considerably drier than most of the northern Amazon, with stational semi-deciduous forests fragmented and isolated by pasture, and crops to a lesser extent. Here we report data on lizard assemblages using semi-deciduous forests, forest edge and the surrounding pasture in the southern Amazon in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Lizards were collected in 21 forest fragments (41 to 7,035 ha surrounded by pasture; using pitfall traps placed on a degradation gradient – from pasture inwards forest fragment (up to 200 m. We collected 242 individuals (14 species, seven families in 6,300 trap-days. The pattern of species occurrence was largely nested and this nesting was associated with three habitat guilds (generalist, edge-tolerant, and forest species. Although there was no obvious fragmentation effect on lizards diversity community-wise, Hoplocercus spinosus, Bachia dorbignyi, Micrablepharus maximiliani and Kentropyx calcarta were more vulnerable to such effects than all other ten species collected. We verified that assemblages inhabiting pasture and forest edge are a nested subset of assemblages from the forest core. The remnant native vegetation is not distributed homogeneously and lizards species can persist in different parts of the landscape, therefore we recommend the protection of forest remnants as an important conservation action for lizards of the southern Amazon.

  9. The importance of remnant native vegetation of Amazonian submontane forest for the conservation of lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, D J; Santos-Filho, M; Canale, G R

    2014-08-01

    Forest fragmentation affects animal population dynamics mainly by loss of habitat and disruption of animal movement. Lizard assemblages are affected by environmental changes, but, depending on their ecological needs, some species might be more vulnerable than others. The southern Amazon suffers accelerated anthropic actions replacing natural environments by farmland (crops and pasture). This region is considerably drier than most of the northern Amazon, with stational semi-deciduous forests fragmented and isolated by pasture, and crops to a lesser extent. Here we report data on lizard assemblages using semi-deciduous forests, forest edge and the surrounding pasture in the southern Amazon in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Lizards were collected in 21 forest fragments (41 to 7,035 ha) surrounded by pasture; using pitfall traps placed on a degradation gradient - from pasture inwards forest fragment (up to 200 m). We collected 242 individuals (14 species, seven families) in 6,300 trap-days. The pattern of species occurrence was largely nested and this nesting was associated with three habitat guilds (generalist, edge-tolerant, and forest species). Although there was no obvious fragmentation effect on lizards diversity community-wise, Hoplocercus spinosus, Bachia dorbignyi, Micrablepharus maximiliani and Kentropyx calcarta were more vulnerable to such effects than all other ten species collected. We verified that assemblages inhabiting pasture and forest edge are a nested subset of assemblages from the forest core. The remnant native vegetation is not distributed homogeneously and lizards species can persist in different parts of the landscape, therefore we recommend the protection of forest remnants as an important conservation action for lizards of the southern Amazon.

  10. Anatomy, morphology and evolution of the patella in squamate lizards and tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regnault, Sophie; Jones, Marc E H; Pitsillides, Andrew A; Hutchinson, John R

    2016-05-01

    The patella (kneecap) is the largest and best-known of the sesamoid bones, postulated to confer biomechanical advantages including increasing joint leverage and reinforcing the tendon against compression. It has evolved several times independently in amniotes, but despite apparently widespread occurrence in lizards, the patella remains poorly characterised in this group and is, as yet, completely undescribed in their nearest extant relative Sphenodon (Rhynchocephalia). Through radiography, osteological and fossil studies we examined patellar presence in diverse lizard and lepidosauromorph taxa, and using computed tomography, dissection and histology we investigated in greater depth the anatomy and morphology of the patella in 16 lizard species and 19 Sphenodon specimens. We have found the first unambiguous evidence of a mineralised patella in Sphenodon, which appears similar to the patella of lizards and shares several gross and microscopic anatomical features. Although there may be a common mature morphology, the squamate patella exhibits a great deal of variability in development (whether from a cartilage anlage or not, and in the number of mineralised centres) and composition (bone, mineralised cartilage or fibrotendinous tissue). Unlike in mammals and birds, the patella in certain lizards and Sphenodon appears to be a polymorphic trait. We have also explored the evolution of the patella through ancestral state reconstruction, finding that the patella is ancestral for lizards and possibly Lepidosauria as a whole. Clear evidence of the patella in rhynchocephalian or stem lepidosaurian fossil taxa would clarify the evolutionary origin(s) of the patella, but due to the small size of this bone and the opportunity for degradation or loss we could not definitively conclude presence or absence in the fossils examined. The pattern of evolution in lepidosaurs is unclear but our data suggest that the emergence of this sesamoid may be related to the evolution of secondary

  11. Phenotypic shifts in urban areas in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winchell, Kristin M; Reynolds, R Graham; Prado-Irwin, Sofia R; Puente-Rolón, Alberto R; Revell, Liam J

    2016-05-01

    Urbanization is an increasingly important dimension of global change, and urban areas likely impose significant natural selection on the species that reside within them. Although many species of plants and animals can survive in urban areas, so far relatively little research has investigated whether such populations have adapted (in an evolutionary sense) to their newfound milieu. Even less of this work has taken place in tropical regions, many of which have experienced dramatic growth and intensification of urbanization in recent decades. In the present study, we focus on the neotropical lizard, Anolis cristatellus. We tested whether lizard ecology and morphology differ between urban and natural areas in three of the most populous municipalities on the island of Puerto Rico. We found that environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, and substrate availability differ dramatically between neighboring urban and natural areas. We also found that lizards in urban areas use artificial substrates a large proportion of the time, and that these substrates tend to be broader than substrates in natural forest. Finally, our morphological data showed that lizards in urban areas have longer limbs relative to their body size, as well as more subdigital scales called lamellae, when compared to lizards from nearby forested habitats. This shift in phenotype is exactly in the direction predicted based on habitat differences between our urban and natural study sites, combined with our results on how substrates are being used by lizards in these areas. Findings from a common-garden rearing experiment using individuals from one of our three pairs of populations provide evidence that trait differences between urban and natural sites may be genetically based. Taken together, our data suggest that anoles in urban areas are under significant differential natural selection and may be evolutionarily adapting to their human-modified environments.

  12. Natural history of Xenosaurus phalaroanthereon (Squamata, Xenosauridae, a Knob-scaled Lizard from Oaxaca, Mexico

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    Julio A. Lemos-Espinal

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available We made observations on the natural history of a population of the lizard Xenosaurus phalaroanthereon from Oaxaca, Mexico. Females were larger than males (SVL. Most lizards were found completely inside rock crevices. Mean body temperature was 20.3°C. Body temperature wasrelated primarily to substrate temperature. Body temperature was not influenced by any crevice characteristic. Based on abdominal palpation, the size at maturity for females appears to be 117-119 mm SVL. Sex ratio did not differ from 1:1. We compare the ecology of this population to that of other Xenosaurus.

  13. Muscle fiber-type variation in lizards (Squamata) and phylogenetic reconstruction of hypothesized ancestral states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonine, Kevin E; Gleeson, Todd T; Garland, Theodore

    2005-12-01

    Previously, we found that phrynosomatid lizards, a diverse group common in the southwestern USA, vary markedly in fiber-type composition of the iliofibularis (a hindlimb muscle important in locomotion). Phrynosomatidae comprises three subclades: the closely related sand and horned lizards, and their relatives the Sceloporus group. The variation in muscle fiber-type composition for 11 phrynosomatid species is attributable mainly to differences between the sand- and horned-lizard subclades. Here, we expand the phrynosomatid database with three additional species and compare these results with data collected for 10 outgroup (distantly related) species. Our goal was to determine if the patterns found in Phrynosomatidae hold across a broader phylogenetic range of the extant lizards and to elucidate the evolution of muscle fiber-type composition and related traits. To allow for meaningful comparisons, data were collected from species that are primarily terrestrial and relatively small in size (3.5-65 g body mass). Results indicate that the fiber-type variation observed within the Phrynosomatidae almost spans the range of variation observed in our sample of 24 species from eight families. However, one species of Acanthodactylus (Lacertidae) had a consistent region of large tonic fibers (that did not stain darkly for either succinic dehydrogenase or myosin ATPase activity), a fiber-type only occasionally seen in the other 23 species examined. Many species have a large proportion of either fast-twitch glycolytic (FG; e.g. sand lizards and Aspidoscelis) or fast-twitch oxidative-glycolytic (FOG) fibers (e.g. horned lizards), with the slow-oxidative proportion occupying only 1-17% of the iliofibularis. Importantly, the negative relationship between FG and FOG composition observed in Phrynosomatidae appears to be a characteristic of lizards in general, and could lead to functional trade-offs in aspects of locomotor performance, as has previously been reported for Lacertidae

  14. Yolk coelomitis in a white-throated monitor lizard (Varanus albigularis : short communication

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    B.R. Gardner

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Yolk coelomitis as a result of pre-ovulatory follicular stasis is a common disorder in captive reptiles, especially in captive lizards of various genera. The clinical signs are generally fairly non-specific and diagnosis is based on clinical signs together with most of the common diagnostic modalities. The condition is most likely a husbandry and environment-related reproductive disorder. It has not been reported in wild free-living specimens. This report describes the clinical presentation and post mortem lesions in a white-throated monitor lizard that died during treatment for non-specific clinical signs related to a severe yolk coelomitis.

  15. Male Texas Horned Lizards increase daily movements and area covered in spring: A mate searching strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Richard C.; Fox, S. F.; David, M.L.

    2005-01-01

    Texas Horned Lizards, Phrynosoma cornutum, were tracked using fluorescent powder to determine exact daily movements. Daily linear movements and daily space use were compared between adult males and females. Lizards that traveled the greatest linear distances also covered the largest areas. In Oklahoma, adults emerge from hibernation in late April and early May and mate soon afterward. Males traveled significantly greater distances (and covered significantly larger areas in a day) than females in May but not after May. We propose that males move more and cover more area than females early in the mating season to intercept receptive females. Copyright 2005 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  16. Beta-endorphin disrupts seasonal and FSH-induced ovarian recrudescence in the lizard Mabuya carinata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesh, C B; Yajurvedi, H N

    2003-10-01

    Administration (ip) of an opioid peptide, beta-endorphin (beta-EP) (0.1, 0.5, or 1 microg beta-EP/day/lizard for 30 days) during seasonal recrudescence phase of the ovarian cycle inhibited ovarian recrudescence as shown by the absence of vitellogenic follicles in the ovary in contrast to their presence in treatment controls in the lizard Mabuya carinata. In the germinal bed, treatment of 0.1 microg beta-EP did not affect primordial follicles, whereas their mean number was significantly lower in lizards treated with 0.5 or 1 microg beta-EP compared to those of treatment controls. There was also suppression of oviductal development as shown by a significantly lower relative weight of the oviduct and regressed oviductal glands in lizards treated with all the dosages of beta-EP compared to treatment controls. In another experiment, administration of FSH (10 IU FSH/alternate day/lizard for 30 days) during the regression phase of the ovarian cycle induced development of vitellogenic follicles, whereas the treatment controls showed only previtellogenic follicles. In addition, there was a significant increase in the ovarian and oviductal weights compared to initial and treatment controls. However, simultaneous administration of similar dosage of FSH and beta-EP (0.5 microg/day/lizard) did not induce ovarian recrudescence as shown by the absence of vitellogenic follicles in the ovary and significantly lower weight of the ovary and the oviduct and the mean number of oogonia, oocytes, and primordial follicles compared to those of FSH-treated lizards. The results indicate that beta-EP inhibits seasonal as well as FSH-induced ovarian recrudescence. Inhibitory effect of beta-EP on follicular development despite FSH administration implies its effect at the ovarian level in M. carinata. While adversely affecting the ovarian follicular development, beta-EP did not affect the adrenal gland as there was no significant variation in the mean nuclear diameter of the adrenocortical cells

  17. Armorican provenance for the mélange deposits below the Lizard ophiolite (Cornwall, UK): evidence for Devonian obduction of Cadomian and Lower Palaeozoic crust onto the southern margin of Avalonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strachan, Rob A.; Linnemann, Ulf; Jeffries, Teresa; Drost, Kerstin; Ulrich, Jens

    2014-07-01

    Devonian sedimentary rocks of the Meneage Formation within the footwall of the Lizard ophiolite complex in SW England are thought to have been derived from erosion of the over-riding Armorican microplate during collision with Avalonia and the closure of the Rheic Ocean. We further test this hypothesis by comparison of their detrital zircon suites with those of autochthonous Armorican strata. Five samples analysed from SW England (Avalonia) and NW France (Armorica) have a bimodal U-Pb zircon age distribution dominated by late Neoproterozoic to middle Cambrian (c. 710-518 Ma) and Palaeoproterozoic (c. 1,800-2,200 Ma) groupings. Both can be linked with lithologies exposed within the Cadomian belt as well as the West African craton, which is characterized by major tectonothermal events at 2.0-2.4 Ga. The detrital zircon signature of Avalonia is distinct from that of Armorica in that there is a much larger proportion of Mesoproterozoic detritus. The common provenance of the samples is therefore consistent with: (a) derivation of the Meneage Formation mélange deposits from the Armorican plate during Rheic Ocean closure and obduction of the Lizard Complex and (b) previous correlation of quartzite blocks within the Meneage Formation with the Ordovician Grès Armoricain Formation of NW France.

  18. African American Diaspora

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    Angela Brown

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The migration of blacks in North America through slavery became united.  The population of blacks past downs a tradition of artist through art to native born citizens. The art tradition involved telling stories to each generation in black families. The black culture elevated by tradition created hope to determine their personal freedom to escape from poverty of enslavement and to establish a way of life through tradition. A way of personal freedoms was through getting a good education that lead to a better foundation and a better way of life. With regard to all historic migrations (forced and voluntary, the African Union defined the African diaspora as "[consisting] of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union." Its constitutive act declares that it shall "invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union." Keywords: literature concepts, African American abstracts

  19. Effects of wildfire, rainfall and region on desert lizard assemblages: the importance of multi-scale processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastro, Louise A; Dickman, Christopher R; Letnic, Mike

    2013-10-01

    Vertebrate populations are influenced by environmental processes that operate at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Wildfire is a disturbance that can affect vertebrate populations across large spatial scales, although vertebrate responses are frequently influenced by processes operating at smaller spatial scales such as topography, interspecific interactions and regional history. Here, we investigate the effects of a broad-scale wildfire on lizard assemblages in a desert region. We predicted that a rainfall gradient within the region affected by the wildfire would influence lizard responses to the fire by encouraging post-fire succession to proceed more rapidly in high-rainfall areas, and would be enabled in turn by more rapid vegetation recovery. To test our prediction, we censused lizards, measured rainfall, undertook vegetation surveys and sampled invertebrate abundance across burnt and unburnt habitat ecotones within three regional areas situated along a gradient of long-term annual rainfall. Lizard diversity was not affected by fire or region and lizard abundance was influenced only by region. Lizard assemblage composition was also only influenced by region, but this did not relate to differences in rainfall or habitat as we had predicted. Regional differences in lizard assemblages related instead to food availability. The observed differences also likely reflected regional differences in the strength of biotic interactions with predators and changes in land use. Our study shows that assemblage responses to a disturbance were not uniform within a large desert region and instead were influenced by other environmental processes operating simultaneously at multiple temporal and spatial scales.

  20. Molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of the Anatolian lizard Apathya (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapli, Paschalia; Botoni, Dimitra; Ilgaz, Cetin; Kumlutaş, Yusuf; Avcı, Aziz; Rastegar-Pouyani, Nasrullah; Fathinia, Behzad; Lymberakis, Petros; Ahmadzadeh, Faraham; Poulakakis, Nikos

    2013-03-01

    Apathya is a lacertid genus occurring mainly in south-east Turkey and its adjacent regions (part of Iran and Iraq). So far two morphological species have been attributed to the genus; A. cappadocica (with five subspecies, A. c.cappadocica, A. c.muhtari, A. c.schmidtlerorum, A. c. urmiana and A. c.wolteri) and A.yassujica. The first species occupies most of the genus' distribution range, while A. yassujica is endemic of the Zagros Mountains. Here, we explored Apathya's taxonomy and investigated the evolutionary history of the species by employing phylogenetic and phylogeographic approaches and using both mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear markers. The phylogenetic relationships and the genetic distances retrieved, revealed that Apathya is a highly variable genus, which parallels its high morphological variation. Such levels of morphological and genetic differentiation often exceed those between species of other Lacertini genera that are already treated as full species, suggesting the necessity for a taxonomic revision of Apathya. The phylogeographical scenario emerging from the genetic data suggests that the present distribution of the genus was determined by a combination of dispersal and vicariance events between Anatolia and Southwest Asia dating back to the Miocene and continuing up to the Pleistocene. Key geological events for the understanding of the phylogeography of the genus are the movement of the Arabian plate that led to the configuration of Middle East (orogenesis of the mountain ranges of Turkey and Iran) and the formation of Anatolian Diagonal.

  1. The relationship between the lizard eye and associated bony features: a cautionary note for interpreting fossil activity patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Margaret I

    2009-06-01

    Activity pattern, the time of day when an animal is active, is associated with ecology. There are two major activity patterns: diurnal (awake during the day in a photopic environment) and nocturnal (awake at night in a scotopic environment). Lizards exhibit characteristic eye shapes associated with activity pattern, with scotopic-adapted lizard eyes optimized for visual sensitivity with large corneal diameters relative to their eye axial lengths, and photopic-adapted lizards optimized for visual acuity, with larger axial lengths of the eye relative to their corneal diameters. This study: (1) quantifies the relationship between the lizard eye and its associated bony anatomy (the orbit, sclerotic ring, and associated skull widths); (2) investigates how activity pattern is reflected in that bony anatomy; and (3) determines if it is possible to reliably interpret activity pattern for a lizard that does not have the soft tissue available for study, specifically, for a fossil. Knowledge of extinct lizards' activity patterns would be useful in making paleoecological interpretations. Here, 96 scotopic- and photopic-adapted lizard species are analyzed in a phylogenetic context. Although there is a close relationship between the lepidosaur eye and associated bony anatomy, based on these data activity pattern cannot be reliably interpreted for bony-only specimens, such as a fossil, possibly because of the limited ossification of the lepidosaur skull. Caution should be exercised when utilizing lizard bony anatomy to interpret light-level adaptation, either for a fossil lizard or as part of an extant phylogenetic bracket to interpret other extinct animals with sclerotic rings, such as dinosaurs.

  2. Lizard movement tracks: variation in path re-use behaviour is consistent with a scent-marking function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leu, Stephan T; Jackson, Grant; Roddick, John F; Bull, C Michael

    2016-01-01

    Individual movement influences the spatial and social structuring of a population. Animals regularly use the same paths to move efficiently to familiar places, or to patrol and mark home ranges. We found that Australian sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa), a monogamous species with stable pair-bonds, repeatedly used the same paths within their home ranges and investigated whether path re-use functions as a scent-marking behaviour, or whether it is influenced by site familiarity. Lizards can leave scent trails on the substrate when moving through the environment and have a well-developed vomeronasal system to detect and respond to those scents. Path re-use would allow sleepy lizards to concentrate scent marks along these well-used trails, advertising their presence. Hypotheses of mate attraction and mating competition predict that sleepy lizard males, which experience greater intra-sexual competition, mark more strongly. Consistent with those hypotheses, males re-used their paths more than females, and lizards that showed pairing behaviour with individuals of the opposite sex re-used paths more than unpaired lizards, particularly among females. Hinterland marking is most economic when home ranges are large and mobility is low, as is the case in the sleepy lizard. Consistent with this strategy, re-used paths were predominantly located in the inner 50% home range areas. Together, our detailed movement analyses suggest that path re-use is a scent marking behaviour in the sleepy lizard. We also investigated but found less support for alternative explanations of path re-use behaviour, such as site familiarity and spatial knowledge. Lizards established the same number of paths, and used them as often, whether they had occupied their home ranges for one or for more years. We discuss our findings in relation to maintenance of the monogamous mating system of this species, and the spatial and social structuring of the population.

  3. Lizard movement tracks: variation in path re-use behaviour is consistent with a scent-marking function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan T. Leu

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Individual movement influences the spatial and social structuring of a population. Animals regularly use the same paths to move efficiently to familiar places, or to patrol and mark home ranges. We found that Australian sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa, a monogamous species with stable pair-bonds, repeatedly used the same paths within their home ranges and investigated whether path re-use functions as a scent-marking behaviour, or whether it is influenced by site familiarity. Lizards can leave scent trails on the substrate when moving through the environment and have a well-developed vomeronasal system to detect and respond to those scents. Path re-use would allow sleepy lizards to concentrate scent marks along these well-used trails, advertising their presence. Hypotheses of mate attraction and mating competition predict that sleepy lizard males, which experience greater intra-sexual competition, mark more strongly. Consistent with those hypotheses, males re-used their paths more than females, and lizards that showed pairing behaviour with individuals of the opposite sex re-used paths more than unpaired lizards, particularly among females. Hinterland marking is most economic when home ranges are large and mobility is low, as is the case in the sleepy lizard. Consistent with this strategy, re-used paths were predominantly located in the inner 50% home range areas. Together, our detailed movement analyses suggest that path re-use is a scent marking behaviour in the sleepy lizard. We also investigated but found less support for alternative explanations of path re-use behaviour, such as site familiarity and spatial knowledge. Lizards established the same number of paths, and used them as often, whether they had occupied their home ranges for one or for more years. We discuss our findings in relation to maintenance of the monogamous mating system of this species, and the spatial and social structuring of the population.

  4. Role of sand lizards in the ecology of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in the Netherlands

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    Spitzen - van der Sluijs Annemarieke

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lizards are considered zooprophylactic for almost all Borrelia burgdorferi species, and act as dilution hosts in parts of North America. Whether European lizards significantly reduce the ability of B. burgdorferi to maintain itself in enzootic cycles, and consequently decrease the infection rate of Ixodes ricinus ticks for B. burgdorferi and other tick-borne pathogens in Western Europe is not clear. Results Ticks were collected from sand lizards, their habitat (heath and from the adjacent forest. DNA of tick-borne pathogens was detected by PCR followed by reverse line blotting. Tick densities were measured at all four locations by blanket dragging. Nymphs and adult ticks collected from lizards had a significantly lower (1.4% prevalence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato, compared to questing ticks in heath (24% or forest (19%. The prevalence of Rickettsia helvetica was significantly higher in ticks from lizards (19% than those from woodland (10% whereas neither was significantly different from the prevalence in ticks from heather (15%. The prevalence of Anaplasma and Ehrlichia spp in heather (12% and forest (14% were comparable, but significantly lower in ticks from sand lizards (5.4%. The prevalence of Babesia spp in ticks varied between 0 and 5.3%. Tick load of lizards ranged from 1 - 16. Tick densities were ~ 5-fold lower in the heather areas than in woodlands at all four sites. Conclusions Despite their apparent low reservoir competence, the presence of sand lizards had insignificant impact on the B. burgdorferi s.l. infection rate of questing ticks. In contrast, sand lizards might act as reservoir hosts for R. helvetica. Remarkably, the public health risk from tick-borne diseases is approximately five times lower in heather than in woodland, due to the low tick densities in heather.

  5. Thermal dependence of passive electrical properties of lizard muscle fibres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, B A

    1987-11-01

    1. The thermal dependence of passive electrical properties was determined for twitch fibres from the white region of the iliofibularis (IF) muscle of Anolis cristatellus (15-35 degrees C) and Sceloporus occidentalis (15-40 degrees C), and for twitch fibres from the white (15-45 degrees C) and red (15-40 degrees C) regions of the IF of Dipsosaurus dorsalis. These species differ in thermal ecology, with Anolis being the least thermophilic and Dipsosaurus the most thermophilic. 2. Iliofibularis fibres from the three species reacted similarly to changing temperature. As temperature was increased, input resistance (Rin) decreased (average R10 = 0.7), length constant (L) decreased (average R10 = 0.9), time constant (tau) decreased (average R10 = 0.8), sarcoplasmic resistivity (Rs) decreased (average R10 = 0.8) and apparent membrane resistance (Rm) decreased (average R10 = 0.7). In contrast, apparent membrane capacitance (Cm) increased with increasing temperature (average R10 = 1.3). 3. Rin, L, tau and apparent Rm were lowest in fibres from Anolis (the least thermophilic species) and highest in fibres from Dipsosaurus (the most thermophilic species). Anolis had the largest and Dipsosaurus the smallest diameter fibres (126 and 57 micron, respectively). Apparent Cm was highest in fibres from Sceloporus, which had fibres of intermediate diameter (101 micron). Rs did not differ significantly among species. 4. The effect of temperature on the passive electrical properties of these lizard fibres was similar to that reported for muscle fibres from other ectothermic animals (crustaceans, insects, fish and amphibians) but qualitatively different from that reported for some mammalian (cat tenuissimus, goat intercostal) fibres. The changes that occur in the passive electrical properties render the fibres less excitable as temperature increases.

  6. Convergent evolution of brain morphology and communication modalities in lizards

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Christopher D.ROBINSON; Michael S.PATTON; Brittney M.ANDRE; Michele A.JOHNSON

    2015-01-01

    Animals communicate information within their environments via visual,chemical,auditory,and/or tactile modalities.The use of each modalityis generally linked to particular brain regions,but it is not yet known whether the cellular morphology of neurons in these regions has evolved in association with the relative use of a modality.We investigated relationships between the behavioral use of communication modalities and neural morphologies in six lizard species.Two of these species (Anolis carolinensis and Leiocephalus carinatus) primarily use visual signals to communicate with conspecifics and detect potential prey,and two (Aspidoscelis gularis and Scincella lateralis) communicate and forage primarily using chemical signals.Two other species (Hemidactylus turcicus and Sceloporus olivaceus) use both visual and chemical signals.For each species,we performed behavioral observations and quantified rates of visual and chemical behaviors.We then cryosectioned brain tissues from 9-10 males of each species and measured the soma size and density of neurons in two brain regions associated with visual behaviors (the lateral geniculate nucleus and the nucleus rotundus) and one region associated with chemical behaviors (the nucleus sphericus).With analyses conducted in a phylogenetic context,we found that species that performed higher rates of visual displays had a denser lateral geniculatc nucleus,and species that used a higher proportion of chemical displays had larger somas in the nucleus sphericus.These relationships suggest that neural morphologies in the brain have evolved convergently in species with similar communication behaviors [Current Zoology 61 (2):281-291,2015].

  7. Survey of the reptilian fauna of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. V. The lizard fauna of Turaif region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Sadoon, Mohammed K; Paray, Bilal Ahmad; Al-Otaibi, Hamad S

    2016-09-01

    Turaif area located in the Northern border region of Saudi Arabia is one of the most important regions of the Kingdom. This work was proposed to throw light on the diversity of lizard fauna investigated through the collection and subsequent identification of specimens from different localities of Turaif region of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sixteen species of lizards belonging to 5 families (Agamidae, Gekkonidae, Lacertidae, Scincidae and Varanidae) were recorded. Lacertidae was the most common family. Three species of lizards namely Acanthodactylus orientalis, Acanthodactylus scutellatus and Acanthodactylus grandis were reported for the first time in the Turaif region of Saudi Arabia. The geographical distribution of the collected species within this province was mapped.

  8. A potential recovery of a population of the sand lizard Liolaemus lutzae Mertens, 1938 in an area within its range: a lizard endemic and threatened with extinction

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    CFD. Rocha

    Full Text Available The endemic and threatened lizard Liolaemus lutzae has a relatively small geographic range restricted to only 200 km of along the coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, which are habitats under intensive anthropic disturbance. At the Barra da Tijuca beach, in Rio de Janeiro city an estimate of the population abundance made in 1991, compared to a previous estimate made in 1984, showed a considerable decrease (about 65%. Most of the decrease was attributed to anthropic disturbances that locally affected the beach vegetation, the species habitat. In this study we present estimates made in 2002 and in 2006 at the same area and compare them with the estimates of 1984 and 1991, using the same methodology in order to make comparable the data from different samplings years and to evaluate the present status of the local population. The estimated indexes of L. lutzae abundance in 2002 and in 2006 were higher than that of 1991. There was a significant increase in the mean number of recorded lizards in 2002 compared to 1991, but the mean number of lizards sighted in 2006 remained stable when compared with that of 2002. Our data based on the index of abundance recorded suggested that the number of L. lutzae at Barra da Tijuca beach recorded increased, which can be indicative of a potential recovery of the local population.

  9. African Otter Workshop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Reed-Smith

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available All concerned thought this was an excellent workshop with important progress made towards creating a viable beginning of an African Otter Network. There is a long road ahead but the 2015 African Otter Workshop is a start on developing range country partners, activists and researchers as well as collaborating on issue identification and resolution which will assist in preserving at least some refugia for Africa’s otters. A list of actions was agreed on, including the creation of an African Otter Network website and social media network, apublic Otter Awareness facebook page, encouraging online reporting of otter sightings, conducting otter awareness surveys, and emphasising the need for communication with the public, other members of the network and other professionals. information not shared or documented is information LOST. A Second African Otter Workshop should be held in 2017 elsewhere in Africa to encourage attendance from a wider range of countries.

  10. African Americans and Glaucoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Us Donate In This Section African Americans and Glaucoma email Send this article to a friend by ... and eventually, in developing more effective treatments. Does glaucoma treatment differ? Although treatment varies for all individuals, ...

  11. Does the conceptus of the viviparous lizard Barisia imbricata imbricata participates in the regulation of progesterone production and the control of luteolysis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Torres, Martín; Salcedo-Álvarez, Martha; Alvarez-Rodríguez, Carmen; Cárdenas-León, Mario; Luis, Juana; Moreno-Fierros, Leticia

    2014-08-01

    It is generally accepted that progesterone is necessary to maintain gestation; however, the mechanisms that control the production of this steroid remain unknown. The corpus luteum has been assigned a central role in the maintenance of gestation based on its capacity to produce progesterone. A pseudopregnancy model was performed in a viviparous lizard, Barisia imbricata imbricata, to determine whether the absence of embryos would affect the pattern of progesterone production or the corpus luteum histology. Blood samples were obtained prior to ovulation and at 8, 16, and 24 weeks after ovulation (pseudopregnant and pregnant lizards), as well as one day after parturition (pregnant lizards) or 32 weeks after ovulation (pseudopregnant lizards). The corpus luteum was surgically removed one day after blood samples were obtained. Blood aliquots from nongravid females were obtained at similar timepoints. We found a significant reduction in plasma progesterone concentrations at 24 and 32 weeks post-ovulation in pseudopregnant lizards compared with those observed at similar times in intact pregnant lizards, whereas the progesterone levels in non-gestant lizards remained significantly lower than in either pseudopregnant or pregnant lizards. Moreover, we observed that the histological appearance of the corpus luteum from pseudogestational females (obtained 24 and 32 weeks post-ovulation) differed from the corpora lutea from lizards in late gestation and intact parturient lizards. These observations suggest that the conceptus participates in the regulation of progesterone production in late gestation and also in luteolysis control.

  12. A body temperature model for lizards as estimated from the thermal environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fei, T.; Skidmore, A.K.; Venus, V.; Wang, T.; Schlerf, M.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Overjijk, van S.; Bian, B.M.; Liu, Y.

    2012-01-01

    A physically based model was built to predict the transient body temperature of lizards in a thermally heterogeneous environment. Six heat transfer terms were taken into account in this model: solar radiation, convective heat flow, longwave radiation, conductive heat flow, metabolic heat gain and re

  13. Thermal and energetic constraints on ectotherm abundance: a global test using lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Lauren B; Rodda, Gordon H; Jetz, Walter

    2008-01-01

    Population densities of birds and mammals have been shown to decrease with body mass at approximately the same rate as metabolic rates increase, indicating that energetic needs constrain endotherm population densities. In ectotherms, the exponential increase of metabolic rate with body temperature suggests that environmental temperature may additionally constrain population densities. Here we test simple bioenergetic models for an ecologically important group of ectothermic vertebrates by examining 483 lizard populations. We find that lizard population densities decrease as a power law of body mass with a slope approximately inverse to the slope of the relationship between metabolic rates and body mass. Energy availability should limit population densities. As predicted, environmental productivity has a positive effect on lizard density, strengthening the relationship between lizard density and body mass. In contrast, the effect of environmental temperature is at most weak due to behavioral thermoregulation, thermal evolution, or the temperature dependence of ectotherm performance. Our results provide initial insights into how energy needs and availability differentially constrain ectotherm and endotherm density across broad spatial scales.

  14. A new scincid lizard of the genus Leiolopisma from New Guinea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zweifel, R.G.

    1972-01-01

    The lizard fauna of New Guinea numbers over 150 species (for a list, now well out-dated, see Loveridge, 1948), and probably more than two-thirds of these belong to the family Scincidae. With the exception of studies by Brown (1953, 1954) on the genus Emoia, the large and diverse scincid fauna has re

  15. Ecological explanations to island gigantism: dietary niche divergence, predation, and size in an endemic lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runemark, Anna; Sagonas, Kostas; Svensson, Erik I

    2015-08-01

    Although rapid evolution of body size on islands has long been known, the ecological mechanisms behind this island phenomenon remain poorly understood. Diet is an important selective pressure for morphological divergence. Here we investigate if selection for novel diets has contributed to the multiple independent cases of island gigantism in the Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae) and if diet, predation, or both factors best explain island gigantism. We combined data on body size, shape, bite force, and realized and available diets to address this. Several lines of evidence suggest that diet has contributed to the island gigantism. The larger islet lizards have relatively wider heads and higher bite performance in relation to mainland lizards than would be expected from size differences alone. The proportions of consumed and available hard prey are higher on islets than mainland localities, and lizard body size is significantly correlated with the proportion of hard prey. Furthermore, the main axis of divergence in head shape is significantly correlated with dietary divergence. Finally, a model with only diet and one including diet and predation regime explain body size divergence equally well. Our results suggest that diet is an important ecological factor behind insular body size divergence, but could be consistent with an additional role for predation.

  16. Fifty years of chasing lizards: new insights advance optimal escape theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samia, Diogo S M; Blumstein, Daniel T; Stankowich, Theodore; Cooper, William E

    2016-05-01

    Systematic reviews and meta-analyses often examine data from diverse taxa to identify general patterns of effect sizes. Meta-analyses that focus on identifying generalisations in a single taxon are also valuable because species in a taxon are more likely to share similar unique constraints. We conducted a comprehensive phylogenetic meta-analysis of flight initiation distance in lizards. Flight initiation distance (FID) is a common metric used to quantify risk-taking and has previously been shown to reflect adaptive decision-making. The past decade has seen an explosion of studies focused on quantifying FID in lizards, and, because lizards occur in a wide range of habitats, are ecologically diverse, and are typically smaller and differ physiologically from the better studied mammals and birds, they are worthy of detailed examination. We found that variables that reflect the costs or benefits of flight (being engaged in social interactions, having food available) as well as certain predator effects (predator size and approach speed) had large effects on FID in the directions predicted by optimal escape theory. Variables that were associated with morphology (with the exception of crypsis) and physiology had relatively small effects, whereas habitat selection factors typically had moderate to large effect sizes. Lizards, like other taxa, are very sensitive to the costs of flight.

  17. Thermal and energetic constraints on ectotherm abundance: A global test using lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, L.B.; Rodda, G.H.; Jetz, W.

    2008-01-01

    Population densities of birds and mammals have been shown to decrease with body mass at approximately the same rate as metabolic rates increase, indicating that energetic needs constrain endotherm population densities. In ectotherms, the exponential increase of metabolic rate with body temperature suggests that environmental temperature may additionally constrain population densities. Here we test simple bioenergetic models for an ecologically important group of ectothermic vertebrates by examining 483 lizard populations. We find that lizard population densities decrease as a power law of body mass with a slope approximately inverse to the slope of the relationship between metabolic rates and body mass. Energy availability should limit population densities. As predicted, environmental productivity has a positive effect on lizard density, strengthening the relationship between lizard density and body mass. In contrast, the effect of environmental temperature is at most weak due to behavioral thermoregulation, thermal evolution, or the temperature dependence of ectotherm performance. Our results provide initial insights into how energy needs and availability differentially constrain ectotherm and endotherm density across broad spatial scales. ?? 2008 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. Spatial and social organization in a burrow-dwelling lizard (Phrynocephalus vlangalii) from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yin; Noble, Daniel W A; Fu, Jinzhong; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-01-01

    Shared ecological resources such as burrow complexes can set the stage for social groupings and the evolution of more complex social behavior such as parental care. Paternity testing is increasingly revealing cases of kin-based groupings, and lizards may be a good system to inform on the early evolution of sociality. We examined spatial and social organization in the lizard Phrynocephalus vlangalii from China and tested genetic relatedness (based on eight microsatellite DNA loci) between offspring and parents that shared burrow complexes. Adult males and females had similar spatial patterns: they overlapped most with members of the opposite sex and least with their own sex. Males in better body condition overlapped with more females, and both sexes showed high site fidelity. Most lizards used a single burrow, but some individuals used two or three burrows. While high site fidelity is consistent with sociality in lizards, juveniles did not preferentially share burrows with parents, and we documented only a few cases of parent-offspring associations through burrow sharing. We suggest that P. vlangalii conforms to a classical polygynous mating system in which the burrow forms the core of the male's territory and may be offered as an important resource for females, but this remains to be determined.

  19. A model for the relation between stimulus frequency and spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in lizard papillae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wit, Hero P.; van Dijk, Pim; Manley, Geoffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) and stimulus frequency otoacoustic emissions (SFOAEs) have been described from lizard ears. Although there are several models for these systems, none has modeled the characteristics of both of these types of otoacoustic emissions based upon their being deriv

  20. The Effects of Air Pressure on Spontaneous Otoacoustic Emissions of Lizards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dijk, Pim; Manley, Geoffrey A.

    2013-01-01

    Small changes of air pressure outside the eardrum of five lizard species led to changes in frequency, level, and peak width of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAE). In contrast to humans, these changes generally occurred at very small pressures (<20 mbar). As in humans, SOAE amplitudes were gene

  1. Impact and intrusion of the foot of a lizard running rapidly on sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chen; Hsieh, Tonia; Umbanhowar, Paul; Goldman, Daniel

    2012-11-01

    The desert-dwelling zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides, 10 cm, 10 g) runs rapidly (~10 BL/s) on granular media (GM) like sand and gravel. On loosely packed GM, its large hind feet penetrate into the substrate during each step. Based on above-ground observation, a previous study (Li et al., JEB 2012) hypothesized that the hind foot rotated in the vertical plane subsurface to generate lift. To explain the observed center-of-mass dynamics, the model assumed that ground reaction force was dominated by speed-independent frictional drag. Here we use x-ray high speed video to obtain subsurface foot kinematics of the lizard running on GM, which confirms the hypothesized subsurface foot rotation following rapid foot impact at touchdown. However, using impact force measurements, a resistive force model, and the observed foot kinematics, we find that impact force during initial foot touchdown and speed-independent frictional drag during rotation only account for part of the required lift to support locomotion. This suggests that the rapid foot rotation further allows the lizard to utilize inertial forces from the local acceleration of the substrate (particles), similar to small robots running on GM (Qian et al., RSS 2012) and the basilisk (Jesus) lizard running on water.

  2. Tail loss and narrow surfaces decrease locomotor stability in the arboreal green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Shi-Tong Tonia

    2016-02-01

    Tails play an important role in dynamic stabilization during falling and jumping in lizards. Yet tail autotomy (the voluntary loss of an appendage) is a common mechanism used for predator evasion in these animals. How tail autotomy has an impact on locomotor performance and stability remains poorly understood. The goal of this study was to determine how tail loss affects running kinematics and performance in the arboreal green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. Lizards were run along four surface widths (9.5 mm, 15.9 mm, 19.0 mm and flat), before and following 75% tail autotomy. Results indicate that when perturbed with changes in surface breadth and tail condition, surface breadth tends to have greater impacts on locomotor performance than tail loss. Furthermore, while tail loss does have a destabilizing effect during regular running in these lizards, its function during steady locomotion is minimal. Instead, the tail probably plays a more active role during dynamic maneuvers that require dramatic changes in whole body orientation or center of mass trajectories.

  3. Original and regenerating lizard tail cartilage contain putative resident stem/progenitor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2015-11-01

    Regeneration of cartilaginous tissues is limited in mammals but it occurs with variable extension in lizards (reptiles), including in their vertebrae. The ability of lizard vertebrae to regenerate cartilaginous tissue that is later replaced with bone has been analyzed using tritiated thymidine autoradiography and 5BrdU immunocytochemistry after single pulse or prolonged-pulse and chase experiments. The massive cartilage regeneration that can restore broad vertebral regions and gives rise to a long cartilaginous tube in the regenerating tail, depends from the permanence of some chondrogenic cells within adult vertebrae. Few cells that retain tritiated thymidine or 5-bromodeoxy-uridine for over 35 days are mainly localized in the inter-vertebral cartilage and in sparse chondrogenic regions of the neural arch of the vertebrae, suggesting that they are putative resident stem/progenitor cells. The study supports previous hypothesis indicating that the massive regeneration of the cartilaginous tissue in damaged vertebrae and in the regenerating tail of lizards derive from resident stem cells mainly present in the cartilaginous areas of the vertebrae including in the perichondrium that are retained in adult lizards as growing centers for most of their lifetime.

  4. An introduced competitor elevates corticosterone responses of a Native Lizard (Varanus varius).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessop, Tim S; Anson, Jennifer R; Narayan, Edward; Lockwood, Tim

    2015-01-01

    Glucocorticoid hormone profiles are increasingly used as physiological markers to infer the strength of species interactions that can influence fitness and ensuing population dynamics of animals. Here we investigated two aims. First, we measured the effect of a 90-min capture stress protocol on the plasma corticosterone responses of a large native Australian lizard, the lace monitor (Varanus varius). Second, we compared the basal and postcapture stress corticosterone responses of lace monitors in habitats where they were exposed to high or low densities of the European red fox (Vulpes vulpes), an introduced competitor. Lace monitors responded to the capture stress protocol by significantly increasing plasma levels of corticosterone above basal at 45- and 90-min-postcapture blood-sampling intervals. In habitats with high fox densities, lace monitors produced a significantly greater basal and capture-stress-induced corticosterone response compared to individuals in low-fox density habitat. A significant interaction among fox density, time postcapture, and body condition was also found to influence plasma corticosterone values. These results suggest competition with red fox, perhaps via nutritional stress and increased hypersensitivity of the adrenocortical axis in lizards. At present, without further research, we do not understand whether such responses mediate lizard fitness or whether they have adaptive or maladaptive consequences for lizard populations in response to red fox competition. Nevertheless, our results help broaden understanding of the physiological implications arising from species interactions and specifically how introduced competitors could mediate diverse impacts on native biodiversity.

  5. Early Holocene turnover, followed by stability, in a Caribbean lizard assemblage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, Melissa E.; Hadly, Elizabeth A.

    2016-03-01

    Understanding how communities are impacted by environmental perturbations is integral for addressing the ongoing biodiversity crisis that impacts ecosystems worldwide. The fossil record serves as a window into ancient interactions and the responses of communities to past perturbations. Here, we re-examine paleontological data from Katouche Bay, Anguilla, a Holocene site in the Lesser Antilles. We reveal that the site was more diverse than previously indicated, with long-term, continuous records of three genera of extant lizards (Anolis, Ameiva, and Thecadactylus), and the early Holocene presence of Leiocephalus, a large ground-dwelling lizard that has since been completely extirpated from the Lesser Antilles. The disappearance of Leiocephalus from Katouche Bay resulted in high turnover, decreased evenness, and decreased species richness-a trend that continues to the present day. Our body size reconstructions for the most abundant genus, Anolis, are consistent with the presence of only one species, Anolis cf. gingivinus, at Katouche Bay throughout the Holocene, contrary to previously published studies. Additionally, we find no evidence of dwarfism in A. cf. gingivinus, which contrasts with a global study of contemporary insular lizards. Our data reveal that the impacts of diversity loss on lizard communities are long lasting and irreversible over millennia.

  6. Functional characterization and expression analysis of myoglobin in high-altitude lizard Phrynocephalus erythrurus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Ying; Tang, Xiaolong; Wang, Huihui; Lu, Songsong; Wang, Yan; Zhang, Yang; Chen, Qiang

    2015-10-01

    Myoglobin (Mb) is a monomeric hemoprotein which plays an important role in oxygen storage and transport in cardiac and skeletal muscle under hypoxia. The red tail toad-headed lizard Phrynocephalus erythrurus (Lacertilia: Agamidae), which inhabits at an elevation of 4500-5300 m on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, is known to be the highest living lizard in the world. To investigate the characters of myoglobin of this unique species, another low altitude lizard Phrynocephalus przewalskii (Lacertilia: Agamidae) was selected as a reference. The open reading frame (ORF) of myoglobin in two lizards was 465 bp which encodes a polypeptide of 154 amino acids with different theoretical molecular weight and isoelectric point. The amino acid substitutions of myoglobin between two species were found at Thr13Ile, Lys87Thr and His118Asn. Homology modeling results indicated that P. erythrurus myoglobin has a greater heme pocket, which may be more favorable to oxygen binding and unloading. On the other hand, the mRNA levels of myoglobin in both cardiac and skeletal muscle in P. erythrurus were significantly larger than those in low altitude P. przewalskii. At protein level, myoglobin concentration in skeletal muscle in P. erythrurus was notably increased, but no significant difference was observed in cardiac muscle.

  7. Exotic trees modify the thermal landscape and food resources for lizard communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreuder, E; Clusella-Trullas, S

    2016-12-01

    Increasing numbers of invasive plant species are establishing around the globe, and these species frequently form dense stands that alter habitat structure in critical ways. Nevertheless, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the impacts of invasive alien plant species on native fauna. We first ask whether alien pine trees impact lizard species richness in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa, a world-renowned biodiversity hotspot, by examining differences in lizard species richness, abundance, and diversity between native mountain fynbos and exotic pine tree-dominated habitats. We then examine two mutually non-exclusive processes: (i) changes in the thermal quality of the habitat and (ii) changes in the availability of food resources, to explain differences in lizard assemblages among habitat types. Lizard richness, abundance, and diversity were greater in fynbos habitat than in fynbos heavily invaded by pine and in pine plantations. The thermal quality of the environment and food resources was consistently higher in native fynbos than in pine forests, but these responses were more varied when comparisons were made along an invasion gradient and among seasons. Our results suggest that management strategies must consider spatially and temporally detailed measurements of thermal regimes and resources to assess the impacts of invasive vegetation on reptile diversity.

  8. A new species of Andean semiaquatic lizard of the genus Potamites (Sauria, Gymnophtalmidae from southern Peru

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    Germán Chávez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe a new lizard species of the genus Potamites from the montane forests of the Cordillera de Vilcabamba (Cusco region and Apurimac River valley (Ayacucho region, between 1500 and 2000 meters of elevation, in southern Peru. The new species is distinguishable from all other species of the genus mainly byhighly keeled scattered scales on dorsum and females lacking femoral pores.

  9. The regeneration blastema of lizards: an amniote model for the study of appendage replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, E A B; Delorme, S L; Vickaryous, M K

    2015-04-01

    Although amniotes (reptiles, including birds, and mammals) are capable of replacing certain tissues, complete appendage regeneration is rare. Perhaps the most striking example is the lizard tail. Tail loss initiates a spontaneous epimorphic (blastema-mediated) regenerative program, resulting in a fully functional but structurally non-identical replacement. Here we review lizard tail regeneration with a particular focus on the blastema. In many lizards, the original tail has evolved a series of fracture planes, anatomical modifications that permit the tail to be self-detached or autotomized. Following tail loss, the wound site is covered by a specialized wound epithelium under which the blastema develops. An outgrowth of the spinal cord, the ependymal tube, plays a key role in governing growth (and likely patterning) of the regenerate tail. In some species (e.g., geckos), the blastema forms as an apical aggregation of proliferating cells, similar to that of urodeles and teleosts. For other species (e.g., anoles) the identification of a proliferative blastema is less obvious, suggesting an unexpected diversity in regenerative mechanisms among tail-regenerating lizards.

  10. Estrogenic contamination by manure fertilizer in organic farming: a case study with the lizard Podarcis sicula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verderame, Mariailaria; Limatola, Ermelinda; Scudiero, Rosaria

    2016-01-01

    In the last years, worldwide organic farming has grown exponentially; as a consequence, the use of animal manure as a soil fertility source has become the principal agricultural choice. However, the use of manure as fertilizer can increase the amount of steroid hormone metabolites in the soil. In southern Italy, lacertidae lizards are the most abundant vertebrate group in agroecosystems and have been identified as potential model species for ecotoxicological studies. The aim of this study was to understand if the manure applied in organic farming has estrogen-like effects in the lizard Podarcis sicula. Adult male lizards were captured in two organic agricultural fields (manure-treated sites) and in an uncultivated field (control site). Lizards from the two organic farms displayed hepatic biosynthetic alterations typical of an estrogenic contamination; hepatocytes contained both vitellogenin and estrogen receptor alpha transcripts and proteins, detected by in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry. The same cells did not show cadmium, lead and metallothionein accumulation, indicative of the lack of inorganic contamination. These findings suggest that exogenous estrogens, arising from the use of manure, could affect the welfare of wild animals and animal breeding, leading to bioaccumulation of estrogens in food chain, with possible risk for human consumers. For this reason, organic farming should implement the use of sustainable practices such as crop rotation to preserve the soil biological activity, rather than organic manure as fertilizer.

  11. Distinct Patterns of Desynchronized Limb Regression in Malagasy Scincine Lizards (Squamata, Scincidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miralles, A.; Hipsley, C.A.; Erens, J.; Gehara, M.; Rakotoarison, A.; Glaw, F.; Müller, J.; Vences, M.

    2015-01-01

    Scincine lizards in Madagascar form an endemic clade of about 60 species exhibiting a variety of ecomorphological adaptations. Several subclades have adapted to burrowing and convergently regressed their limbs and eyes, resulting in a variety of partial and completely limbless morphologies among ext

  12. Diet of the lizard Ecpleopus gaudichaudii (Gymnophthalmidae in Atlantic Rainforest, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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    Thiago Maia

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study we analyzed the diet of the gymnophthalmid lizard Ecpleopus gaudichaudii Duméril & Bibron, 1839, a typical inhabitant of the forest-floor leaf litter, in an Atlantic Forest area in the state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. The 26 individuals sampled during the study had a mean snout-vent length (SVL of 36.2 ± 4.2 mm and a mean jaw width (JW of 4.1 ± 0.5 mm. We did not find differences in SVL between males and females, though the sexes differed in JW when the effect of body size was factored out, with females presenting higher values. The diet of the lizards was composed exclusively of arthropods, especially isopods and orthopterans. The similarity in trophic niches among seasons (volumetric and numerical proportions of prey categories consumed were 0.096 and to 0.43, respectively. There were also no detectable seasonal differences in mean number and mean volume of prey ingested, as well as no significant influence of lizard SVL on prey number and of lizard JW on mean prey volume, which may reflect the tendency of E. gaudichaudii to feed on few, relatively large prey.

  13. Effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharide on thermoregulation in green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merchant, Mark; Fleury, Lauren; Rutherford, Renee; Paulissen, Mark

    2008-09-15

    Fever is a non-specific host defense mechanism that comprises part of the innate immune response. Innate immune function is thought to be an important adaptive immunological response to infection because it occurs across a broad diversity of phyla. Some reptiles can mount a febrile response, despite the fact that their internal body temperatures (T(b)s) are, to some extent, controlled by the environmental temperatures in which they live. This study was undertaken to determine if LPS would induce fever in green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis). Lizards were maintained in thermal gradients (22-45 degrees C) with a 12-h diurnal cycle. anoles were injected with LPS, pyrogen-free saline, or left untreated, and their T(b)s were recorded every 15min using internal cloacal probes. All lizards showed a diurnal periodicity in T(b) characterized by decreased temperatures during the scotophase (dark hours) and higher temperatures during the photophase (light phase). Anoles injected with LPS exhibited a hypothermic response, relative to untreated and saline-injected animals. The response varied from 2.1 to 4.6 degrees C lower than control lizards. The hypothermic response was initiated within 12-24h of LPS injection, and continued for 3 days after treatment. However, the anapyrexic response was observed primarily during scotophases, with photophase hypothermia observed only on the first day after LPS injection.

  14. UV-deprived coloration reduces success in mate acquisition in male sand lizards (Lacerta agilis.

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    Mats Olsson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent work on animal signals has revealed a wide occurrence of UV signals in tetrapods, in particular birds, but also in lizards (and perhaps other Squamate reptiles. Our previous work on the Swedish sand lizard (Lacerta agilis has verified, both in correlative selection analyses in the wild and with laboratory and field experiments, the importance of the green 'badge' on the body sides of adult males for securing mating opportunities, probably mostly through deterring rival males rather than attracting females. The role of UV in communication has, however, never been examined. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we show that when measured immediately after spring skin shedding, there is also signaling in the UV. By UV-depriving the signal (reflectance with sun block chemicals fixated with permeable, harmless spray dressing, we show that males in the control group (spray dressing only had significantly higher success in mate acquisition than UV-deprived males. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that at least two colour traits in sand lizards, badge area and UV, contribute to rival deterrence and/or female choice on UV characters, which elevates success in mate acquisition in UV intact male sand lizards.

  15. Thermal sensitivity of cold climate lizards and the importance of distributional ranges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonino, Marcelo F; Moreno Azócar, Débora L; Schulte, James A; Abdala, Cristian S; Cruz, Félix B

    2015-08-01

    One of the fundamental goals in macroecology is to understand the relationship among species' geographic ranges, ecophysiology, and climate; however, the mechanisms underlying the distributional geographic patterns observed remain unknown for most organisms. In the case of ectotherms this is particularly important because the knowledge of these interactions may provide a robust framework for predicting the potential consequences of climate change in these organisms. Here we studied the relationship of thermal sensitivity and thermal tolerance in Patagonian lizards and their geographic ranges, proposing that species with wider distributions have broader plasticity and thermal tolerance. We predicted that lizard thermal physiology is related to the thermal characteristics of the environment. We also explored the presence of trade-offs of some thermal traits and evaluated the potential effects of a predicted scenario of climate change for these species. We examined sixteen species of Liolaemini lizards from Patagonia representing species with different geographic range sizes. We obtained thermal tolerance data and performance curves for each species in laboratory trials. We found evidence supporting the idea that higher physiological plasticity allows species to achieve broader distribution ranges compared to species with restricted distributions. We also found a trade-off between broad levels of plasticity and higher optimum temperatures of performance. Finally, results from contrasting performance curves against the highest environmental temperatures that lizards may face in a future scenario (year 2080) suggest that the activity of species occurring at high latitudes may be unaffected by predicted climatic changes.

  16. Effects of DDT ground-spraying against tsetse flies on lizards in NW Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, M R

    1993-01-01

    The impact of DDT ground-spraying against tsetse flies on lizards was investigated in NW Zimbabwe. Nineteen species were recorded, 17 in mopane woodland and 11 on gritstone outcrops: Mabuya striata wahlbergii dominated trees and Mabuya quinquetaeniata margaritifer rocks. Mean frequency of M. s. wahlbergii declined significantly from 76% of lizards at untreated sites (n = 8), through 72% after three annual treatments (n = 4), to 48% after 4-6 treatments (n = 6). Sighting rates and proportion of trees occupied were also significantly lower at treated than untreated sites. Numbers on trunks (99% > 15 cm diameter) above 3 m increased significantly with years of treatment relative to those in the spray target area below 3 m. Total DDT loads rose significantly with number of annual treatments and were up to 263 microg g(-1) lipid (7 microg g(-1) wet body weight) after 3-6 years. The percentage of unaltered DDT increased with load, which was proportionately higher in thin than in fat lizards. The geometric mean total DDT level in M. s. wahlbergii was significantly higher than in outcrop species, and from treated woodland was elevated 21 times above that in lizards from treated outcrops. Frequency and sighting rates of Lygodactylus chobiensis in woodland and immature Agama kirkii on outcrops were significantly higher in treated than in untreated areas.

  17. Corticosterone inhibits normal and FSH-induced testicular recrudescence in the lizard, Mabuya carinata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yajurvedi, H N; Nijagal, B S

    2000-12-01

    Administration (ip) of 1, 10, or 20 microg corticosterone (alternate days for 30 days) to adult male Mabuya carinata did not affect the seasonal recrudescence of spermatogenesis whereas administration of 40 microg corticosterone did result in inhibition of spermatogenesis. Further, administration of FSH (10 IU/lizard/alternate day for 30 days) during the quiescent phase of the testicular cycle stimulated spermatogenetic and steroidogenic activity of the testis as shown by significant increases in the mean number of spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and spermatids and serum levels of testosterone. In addition there were abundant spermatozoa in the lumen of the tubules in FSH-treated lizards. Administration of 10 IU FSH + 40 microg corticosterone (per lizard on alternate days for 30 days) increased the mean number of primary and secondary spermatocytes whereas the mean number of spermatids did not show significant variation compared with that of controls. Further, the mean numbers of spermatocytes and spermatids and serum levels of testosterone were significantly less when compared to those of FSH alone treated lizards. In addition, FSH-induced development of epididymis was also inhibited by corticosterone treatment. The results indicate that corticosterone inhibits FSH-induced testicular recrudescence, possibly by suppressing testosterone secretion in M. carinata.

  18. Stress inhibits seasonal and FSH-induced ovarian recrudescence in the lizard,Mabuya carinata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesh, C B; Yajurvedi, H N

    2002-06-01

    Stressors (handling, chasing, and noise) applied randomly five times per day for one month to lizards during the recrudescence phase of the ovarian cycle caused a significant reduction in mean number of oocytes and primordial follicles when compared to those of controls. Further, vitellogenic follicles were absent in the ovary of lizards subjected to stressors. Administration of bovine FSH during post-breeding regression phase of the ovarian cycle induced ovarian recrudescence as shown by significant increases in the mean number of oogonia, oocytes, and primordial follicles compared to controls, as well as vitellogenic growth of follicles. However, lizards treated with FSH and exposed to stressors did not exhibit ovarian recrudescence. Furthermore, FSH administration during the post-breeding regression phase caused a significant increase in serum levels of estradiol compared to controls, which was accompanied by significant increases in the relative weight of the liver and oviduct, as well as vitellogenic growth of follicles. Despite administration of FSH to lizards subjected to stressors, there was neither any increase in serum levels of estradiol and weight of the liver nor vitellogenic growth of follicles. The results indicate that repeated application of stressors inhibits vitellogenic growth of follicles by suppression of steroidogenic activity in M. carinata. This is the first report revealing that the ovary does not respond to gonadotrophin treatment under stressful conditions in reptiles.

  19. Spatial and social organization in a burrow-dwelling lizard (Phrynocephalus vlangalii from China.

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    Yin Qi

    Full Text Available Shared ecological resources such as burrow complexes can set the stage for social groupings and the evolution of more complex social behavior such as parental care. Paternity testing is increasingly revealing cases of kin-based groupings, and lizards may be a good system to inform on the early evolution of sociality. We examined spatial and social organization in the lizard Phrynocephalus vlangalii from China and tested genetic relatedness (based on eight microsatellite DNA loci between offspring and parents that shared burrow complexes. Adult males and females had similar spatial patterns: they overlapped most with members of the opposite sex and least with their own sex. Males in better body condition overlapped with more females, and both sexes showed high site fidelity. Most lizards used a single burrow, but some individuals used two or three burrows. While high site fidelity is consistent with sociality in lizards, juveniles did not preferentially share burrows with parents, and we documented only a few cases of parent-offspring associations through burrow sharing. We suggest that P. vlangalii conforms to a classical polygynous mating system in which the burrow forms the core of the male's territory and may be offered as an important resource for females, but this remains to be determined.

  20. Tail autotomy affects bipedalism but not sprint performance in a cursorial Mediterranean lizard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savvides, Pantelis; Stavrou, Maria; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Sfenthourakis, Spyros

    2017-02-01

    Running is essential in all terrestrial animals mainly for finding food and mates and escaping from predators. Lizards employ running in all their everyday functions, among which defense stands out. Besides flight, tail autotomy is another very common antipredatory strategy within most lizard families. The impact of tail loss to sprint performance seems to be species dependent. In some lizard species, tail shedding reduces sprint speed, in other species, increases it, and, in a few species, speed is not affected at all. Here, we aimed to clarify the effect of tail autotomy on the sprint performance of a cursorial lizard with particular adaptations for running, such as bipedalism and spike-like protruding scales (fringes) on the toepads that allow high speed on sandy substrates. We hypothesized that individuals that performed bipedalism, and have more and larger fringes, would achieve higher sprint performance. We also anticipated that tail shedding would affect sprint speed (though we were not able to define in what way because of the unpredictable effects that tail loss has on different species). According to our results, individuals that ran bipedally were faster; limb length and fringe size had limited effects on sprint performance whereas tail autotomy affected quadrupedal running only in females. Nonetheless, tail loss significantly affected bipedalism: the ability for running on hindlimbs was completely lost in all adult individuals and in 72.3% of juveniles.

  1. Biogeographic history and cryptic diversity of saxicolous Tropiduridae lizards endemic to the semiarid Caatinga

    OpenAIRE

    Werneck, Fernanda P.; Leite, Rafael N; Silvia R Geurgas; Rodrigues, Miguel T

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Phylogeographic research has advanced in South America, with increasing efforts on taxa from the dry diagonal biomes. However, the diversification of endemic fauna from the semiarid Caatinga biome in northeastern Brazil is still poorly known. Here we targeted saxicolous lizards of the Tropidurus semitaeniatus species group to better understand the evolutionary history of these endemic taxa and the Caatinga. We estimat...

  2. Acetaminophen and zinc phosphide for lethal management of invasive lizards Ctenosaura similis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michael L. AVERY; John D. EISEMANN; Kandy L. KEACHER; Peter J. SAVARIE

    2011-01-01

    Reducing populations of invasive lizards through trapping and shooting is feasible in many cases but effective integrated management relies on a variety of tools,including toxicants.In Florida,using wild-caught non-native black spiny-tailed iguanas Ctenosaura similis,we screened acetaminophen and zinc phosphide to determine their suitability for effective population management of this prolific invasive species.Of the animals that received acetaminophen,none died except at the highest test dose,240 mg per lizard,which is not practical for field use.Zinc phosphide produced 100% mortality at dose levels as little as 25 mg per lizard,equivalent to about 0.5% in bait which is lower than currently used in commercial baits for eommensal rodent control.We conclude that zinc phosphide has potential as a useful tool for reducing populations of invasive lizards such as the black spiny-tailed iguana provided target-selective delivery methods are developed [Current Zoology 57 (5):625-629,2011].

  3. Thermal preference, thermal tolerance and the thermal dependence of digestive performance in two Phrynocephalus lizards (Agamidae), with a review of species studied

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yanfu QU; Hong LI; Jianfang GAO; Xuefeng XU; Xiang JI

    2011-01-01

    We reported data on thermal preference,thermal tolerance and the thermal dependence of digestive performance for two Phrynocephalus lizards (P.frontalis and P.versicolor),and compared data among lizards so far studied worldwide.Mean values for selected body temperature (Tsel) and critical thermal maximum (CTMax) were greater in P.versicolor,whereas mean values for critical thermal minimum (CTMin) did not differ between the two species.The two lizards differed in food intake,but not in food passage time,apparent digestive coefficient (ADC) and assimilation efficiency (AE),across the experimental temperatures.Four general conclusions can be drawn from published data.Firstly,thermal preference and thermal tolerance differ among lizards differing in distribution,temporal activity pattern and habitat use.Lizards in thermally more variable regions are better able to tolerate low and high temperatures.Diurnal lizards generally select higher body temperatures than nocturnal lizards,and lizards using habitats with direct sun exposure generally selected higher body temperatures and are better able to tolerate high temperatures.Secondly,CTMax is positively correlated with Tsel.Lizards more likely exposed to extremely high temperatures while active select higher body temperatures than those using shaded habitats.Thirdly,the effects of body temperature on food intake,food passage time,ADC and AE differ among lizards,but it seems to be common among lizards that ADC and AE are less thermally sensitive than food intake and food passage time.Lastly,ADC is dependent on the type of food ingested,with insectivorous lizards digesting food more efficiently than herbivorous lizards [Current Zoology 57 (6):684-700,2011].

  4. Geoconservation - a southern African and African perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimold, Wolf Uwe

    1999-10-01

    In contrast to Europe, where geoconservation is actively pursued in most countries and where two international symposia on this subject have been staged in 1991 and 1996, geoconservation in Africa has indeed a very poor record. Considering the wealth of outstanding geological sites and the importance African stratigraphy has within the global geological record, pro-active geoconservation on this continent has not featured very prominently to date. In the interest of science, education and tourism, unique and typical geosites need to be identified, catalogued, and prioritised with the aim being their protection. Most African countries do not have vibrant non-governmental organisations such as a strong geological society, which could drive projects like geoconservation, or strong support from the private sector for environmental work. Here, a case is made for the role that established National Geological Surveys, some of which are already involved with retroactive environmental geological work, could play in the forefront of pro-active geoconservation and site protection.

  5. Regeneration of Articular Cartilage in Lizard Knee from Resident Stem/Progenitor Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2015-09-01

    The epiphysis of femur and tibia in the lizard Podarcis muralis can extensively regenerate after injury. The process involves the articular cartilage and metaphyseal (growth) plate after damage. The secondary ossification center present between the articular cartilage and the growth plate is replaced by cartilaginous epiphyses after about one month of regeneration at high temperature. The present study analyzes the origin of the chondrogenic cells from putative stem cells located in the growing centers of the epiphyses. The study is carried out using immunocytochemistry for the detection of 5BrdU-labeled long retaining cells and for the localization of telomerase, an enzyme that indicates stemness. The observations show that putative stem cells retaining 5BrdU and positive for telomerase are present in the superficial articular cartilage and metaphyseal growth plate located in the epiphyses. This observation suggests that these areas represent stem cell niches lasting for most of the lifetime of lizards. In healthy long bones of adult lizards, the addition of new chondrocytes from the stem cells population in the articular cartilage and the metaphyseal growth plate likely allows for slow, continuous longitudinal growth. When the knee is injured in the adult lizard, new populations of chondrocytes actively producing chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan are derived from these stem cells to allow for the formation of completely new cartilaginous epiphyses, possibly anticipating the re-formation of secondary centers in later stages. The study suggests that in this lizard species, the regenerative ability of the epiphyses is a pre-adaptation to the regeneration of the articular cartilage.

  6. Behavioral buffering of global warming in a cold-adapted lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-07-01

    Alpine lizards living in restricted areas might be particularly sensitive to climate change. We studied thermal biology of Iberolacerta cyreni in high mountains of central Spain. Our results suggest that I. cyreni is a cold-adapted thermal specialist and an effective thermoregulator. Among ectotherms, thermal specialists are more threatened by global warming than generalists. Alpine lizards have no chance to disperse to new suitable habitats. In addition, physiological plasticity is unlikely to keep pace with the expected rates of environmental warming. Thus, lizards might rely on their behavior in order to deal with ongoing climate warming. Plasticity of thermoregulatory behavior has been proposed to buffer the rise of environmental temperatures. Therefore, we studied the change in body and environmental temperatures, as well as their relationships, for I. cyreni between the 1980s and 2012. Air temperatures have increased more than 3.5°C and substrate temperatures have increased by 6°C in the habitat of I. cyreni over the last 25 years. However, body temperatures of lizards have increased less than 2°C in the same period, and the linear relationship between body and environmental temperatures remains similar. These results show that alpine lizards are buffering the potential impact of the increase in their environmental temperatures, most probably by means of their behavior. Body temperatures of I. cyreni are still cold enough to avoid any drop in fitness. Nonetheless, if warming continues, behavioral buffering might eventually become useless, as it would imply spending too much time in shelter, losing feeding, and mating opportunities. Eventually, if body temperature exceeds the thermal optimum in the near future, fitness would decrease abruptly.

  7. NADPH diaphorase-positive neurons in the lizard hippocampus: a distinct subpopulation of GABAergic interneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dávila, J C; Megías, M; Andreu, M J; Real, M A; Guirado, S

    1995-01-01

    We analyzed the distribution and light-microscopic features of the NADPH diaphorase-containing structures in the lizard hippocampus, likely to correspond to nitric oxide synthase-containing cells and fibers, and thus likely to release nitric oxide. We also studied co-localization of NADPH diaphorase with the neurotransmitter GABA, the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin, and the neuropeptide somatostatin, in order to examine whether putative nitric oxide-synthesizing neurons represent a different subpopulation of GABA cells, on which the authors recently reported in lizards. We also studied co-localization of NADPH diaphorase with parvalbumin or somatostatin in mice to ascertain whether the characteristics of this population in reptiles parallel the situation in mammals. Most of the positive NADPH diaphorase neurons were stained in a Golgi-like manner and were in the plexiform layers of the lizard hippocampus with morphologies ranging from bipolar to multipolar. Co-localization with GABA was 100%, and NADPH diaphorase-positive neurons in the lizard hippocampus did not contain parvalbumin or somatostatin. The results indicate that putative nitric oxide-synthesizing neurons represent a distinct subpopulation of GABA interneurons in the lizard hippocampus. Two different types of fibers were described in the plexiform layers: one type bearing thick varicosities, and the other thinner ones. We discuss the possibility that at least part of the positive fibers arise from a hypothalamic aminergic nucleus contacting the third ventricle, the periventricular hypothalamic organ. Most radial glia were stained almost completely and formed typical end-feet both at the pia and around capillaries. The results of this study confirm that the capacity for synthesizing nitric oxide is linked to a determined set of neuronal markers depending on the specific brain region, and they provide new resemblances between hippocampal regions in different classes of vertebrates.

  8. Regeneration of Articular Cartilage in Lizard Knee from Resident Stem/Progenitor Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Alibardi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The epiphysis of femur and tibia in the lizard Podarcis muralis can extensively regenerate after injury. The process involves the articular cartilage and metaphyseal (growth plate after damage. The secondary ossification center present between the articular cartilage and the growth plate is replaced by cartilaginous epiphyses after about one month of regeneration at high temperature. The present study analyzes the origin of the chondrogenic cells from putative stem cells located in the growing centers of the epiphyses. The study is carried out using immunocytochemistry for the detection of 5BrdU-labeled long retaining cells and for the localization of telomerase, an enzyme that indicates stemness. The observations show that putative stem cells retaining 5BrdU and positive for telomerase are present in the superficial articular cartilage and metaphyseal growth plate located in the epiphyses. This observation suggests that these areas represent stem cell niches lasting for most of the lifetime of lizards. In healthy long bones of adult lizards, the addition of new chondrocytes from the stem cells population in the articular cartilage and the metaphyseal growth plate likely allows for slow, continuous longitudinal growth. When the knee is injured in the adult lizard, new populations of chondrocytes actively producing chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan are derived from these stem cells to allow for the formation of completely new cartilaginous epiphyses, possibly anticipating the re-formation of secondary centers in later stages. The study suggests that in this lizard species, the regenerative ability of the epiphyses is a pre-adaptation to the regeneration of the articular cartilage.

  9. African literature to-day

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Sulzer

    1974-03-01

    Full Text Available Being interested in African literature one seems to swim from the very beginning in a terminological maelstrom. What is African literature? Is it literature written by any African author in any language? That would mean approaching the question from a purely racial basis. It would imply the art of demonstrating that any piece of such literature could infallibly be recognised as African, a thing which, as far as I know has never been done. Or is African literature strictly bound to traditional African culture?

  10. Population structure of Blunt-nosed leopard lizards Gambelia silus at Pixley National Wildlife Refuge Tulare County California

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Abstract. Seasonal mark-recapture population estimates and relative abundance indices for the blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia silus) were calculated on eight...

  11. Homology of the jaw muscles in lizards and snakes-a solution from a comparative gnathostome approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Peter

    2014-03-01

    Homology or shared evolutionary origin of jaw adductor muscles in lizards and snakes has been difficult to establish, although snakes clearly arose within the lizard radiation. Lizards typically have temporal adductors layered lateral to medial, and in snakes the muscles are arranged in a rostral to caudal pattern. Recent work has suggested that the jaw adductor group in gnathostomes is arranged as a folded sheet; when this theory is applied to snakes, homology with lizard morphology can be seen. This conclusion revisits the work of S.B. McDowell, J Herpetol 1986; 20:353-407, who proposed that homology involves identity of m. levator anguli oris and the loss of m. adductor mandibulae externus profundus, at least in "advanced" (colubroid) snakes. Here I advance the folded sheet hypothesis across the whole snake tree using new and literature data, and provide a solution to this homology problem.

  12. Differences in Chemical Sexual Signals May Promote Reproductive Isolation and Cryptic Speciation between Iberian Wall Lizard Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Gabirot

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Interpopulational variation in sexual signals may lead to premating reproductive isolation and speciation. Genetic and morphological studies suggest that the Iberian wall lizard, Podarcis hispanica, forms part of a “species complex” with several cryptic species. We explored the role of chemical sexual signals in interpopulational recognition between five distinct populations of Iberian wall lizards in Central Spain. Results showed that these populations differed in morphology and in composition and proportion of chemical compounds in femoral gland secretions of males. Tongue-flick experiments indicated that male and female lizards discriminated and were more interested in scents of lizards from their own area (i.e., Northern versus Southern populations, but did not discriminate between all populations. Moreover, only males from the populations that are geographically located more far away preferred scent of females from their own population. These data suggest that, at least between some populations, there may be reproductive isolation mediated by chemical signals and cryptic speciation.

  13. Chemosensory recognition of the marbled whiptail lizard, Aspidoscelis marmorata (Squamata: Teiidae) to odors of sympatric lizards (Crotophytus collaris, Coleonyx brevis, Eumeces obsoletus and Uta stansburiana) that represent different predation risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Punzo, F

    2008-01-01

    The ability of the whiptail lizard Aspidoscelis marmorata (Teiidae) to detect and discriminate chemical stimuli associated with the integument of a sympatric saurophagous lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) was tested. Females of A. marmorata were presented with cotton swabs containing chemical cues from C. collaris and three species of nonsaurophagous lizards, as well as water and cologne (pungency control), and total number of tongue-flick (TF) recorded. Other responses were assessed including directed TF rate, time from initial presentation of the stimulus to first TF (latency), time spent fleeing from the stimulus, and number of flight bouts. The number of TFs, directed TF rate, and number of attempts at fleeing exhibited by were significantly greater when females were presented with swabs containing cues from C. collaris as compared to nonsaurophagous lizards and both control treatments. A. marmorata required significantly less time to elicit their first TF when presented with cues from C. collaris as compared to all other treatments. Most previous studies have focused on the responses of lizards to cues associated with snake predators. This study provides the first available data on responses of a teiid to cues associated with a saurophagous lizard.

  14. Evolution of viviparity: what can Australian lizards tell us?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Michael B; Stewart, James R; Speake, Brian K; Hosie, Margot J; Murphy, Christopher R

    2002-04-01

    Historically, Australia has been important in the study of, and the development of hypotheses aimed at understanding, the evolution of viviparity in amniote vertebrates. Part of the importance of Australia in the field results from a rich fauna of skinks, including one of the broadest ranges of diversity of placental structures within one geographic region. During the last decade, we have focussed our studies on one lineage, the Eugongylus group of skinks of the subfamily Lygosominae because it contains oviparous species and some that exhibit complex placentae. Our specific objective has been to attempt to understand the fundamental steps required when viviparity, and ultimately complex placentae, evolve from oviparous ancestors. We have taken a three-prong approach: (1) detailed study of the morphology and ontogeny of the placentae of key species at the light microscope level; (2) study of changes in the uterus associated with pregnancy, or the plasma membrane transformation; and (3) measures of the net exchange of nutrients across the placenta or eggshell of key species. In turn, we have found that: (1) details of the morphology and ontogeny of placentae are more complex that originally envisaged, and that the early conclusions about a sequence in the evolution of complex placentae was naïve; (2) a plasma membrane transformation occurs in viviparous, but not oviparous lizards, and thus may be a fundamental feature of the evolution of viviparity in amniotes; and (3) species with more complex chorioallantoic placentae tend to transport more nutrients across the placenta during pregnancy than those with simpler chorioallantoic placentae but, because the correlation is not tight, the importance of the omphaloplacenta in transporting nutrients may have been overlooked. Also, the composition of yolk of highly matrotrophic species is broadly similar, but not identical, to the yolk of oviparous species. Some of the interpretation of our data within the context of our

  15. Thermal ecology of the lizard Sceloporus gadoviae (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) in a semiarid region of southern Puebla, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Guillermo A. Woolrich-Piña; Lemos-Espinal, Julio A; GEOFFREY R. SMITH; Luis Oliver-López; Felipe Correa-Sánchez; Tizoc A. Altamirano-Álvarez; Raymundo Montoya-Ayala

    2012-01-01

    We studied the thermal ecology of the lizard Sceloporus gadoviae from Puebla, Mexico. Mean body temperature (Tb) was 31.5 ± 0.3˚C. A multiple regression suggested that Tb was affected by substrate temperature and solar insolation, and minimally affected by ambient temperature (Ta), sex, and body size. However, body temperature was higher in females than males, and higher in gravid females than non-gravid females. We also found significant differences in Tbs of lizards occupying microhabitats ...

  16. The effect of chronic seaweed subsidies on herbivory: plant-mediated fertilization pathway overshadows lizard-mediated predator pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Spiller, David A; Takimoto, Gaku; Yang, Louie H; Wright, Amber N; Schoener, Thomas W

    2013-08-01

    Flows of energy and materials link ecosystems worldwide and have important consequences for the structure of ecological communities. While these resource subsidies typically enter recipient food webs through multiple channels, most previous studies focussed on a single pathway of resource input. We used path analysis to evaluate multiple pathways connecting chronic marine resource inputs (in the form of seaweed deposits) and herbivory in a shoreline terrestrial ecosystem. We found statistical support for a fertilization effect (seaweed increased foliar nitrogen content, leading to greater herbivory) and a lizard numerical response effect (seaweed increased lizard densities, leading to reduced herbivory), but not for a lizard diet-shift effect (seaweed increased the proportion of marine-derived prey in lizard diets, but lizard diet was not strongly associated with herbivory). Greater seaweed abundance was associated with greater herbivory, and the fertilization effect was larger than the combined lizard effects. Thus, the bottom-up, plant-mediated effect of fertilization on herbivory overshadowed the top-down effects of lizard predators. These results, from unmanipulated shoreline plots with persistent differences in chronic seaweed deposition, differ from those of a previous experimental study of the short-term effects of a pulse of seaweed deposition: while the increase in herbivory in response to chronic seaweed deposition was due to the fertilization effect, the short-term increase in herbivory in response to a pulse of seaweed deposition was due to the lizard diet-shift effect. This contrast highlights the importance of the temporal pattern of resource inputs in determining the mechanism of community response to resource subsidies.

  17. Joeropsididae Nordenstam, 1933 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota) from the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Niel L

    2015-01-01

    The marine isopod family Joeropsididae (Asellota) is documented for the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fifteen species of Joeropsis are recorded, including ten new species; descriptive notes are provided for five species that lacked adequate material for description. A revised family and genus diagnosis is presented together with comments on the most useful characters for species identification and a key to Joeropsis of the Lizard Island region.

  18. Joeropsididae Nordenstam, 1933 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Asellota from the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niel L. Bruce

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The marine isopod family Joeropsididae (Asellota is documented for the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fifteen species of Joeropsis are recorded, including ten new species; descriptive notes are provided for five species that lacked adequate material for description. A revised family and genus diagnosis is presented together with comments on the most useful characters for species identification and a key to Joeropsis of the Lizard Island region.

  19. Total lactate dehydrogenase activity of tail muscle is not cold-adapted in nocturnal lizards from cool-temperate habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, K M; Miller, J H; Clark, A G; Daugherty, C H

    2005-12-01

    The dependence of metabolic processes on temperature constrains the behavior, physiology and ecology of many ectothermic animals. The evolution of nocturnality in lizards, especially in temperate regions, requires adaptations for activity at low temperatures when optimal body temperatures are unlikely to be obtained. We examined whether nocturnal lizards have cold-adapted lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). LDH was chosen as a representative metabolic enzyme. We measured LDH activity of tail muscle in six lizard species (n=123: three nocturnal, two diurnal and one crepuscular) between 5 and 35 degrees C and found no differences in LDH-specific activity or thermal sensitivity among the species. Similarly, the specific activity and thermal sensitivity of LDH were similar between skinks and geckos. Similar enzyme activities among nocturnal and diurnal lizards indicate that there is no selection of temperature specific LDH enzyme activity at any temperature. As many nocturnal lizards actively thermoregulate during the day, LDH may be adapted for a broad range of temperatures rather than adapted specifically for the low temperatures encountered when the animals are active. The total activity of LDH in tropical and temperate lizards is not cold-adapted. More data are required on biochemical adaptations and whole animal thermal preferences before trends can be established.

  20. The functional significance of aposematic signals: geographic variation in the responses of widespread lizard predators to colourful invertebrate prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Hui-Yun; Lin, Chung-Ping; Hsu, Jung-Ya; Pike, David A; Huang, Wen-San

    2014-01-01

    Conspicuous colouration can evolve as a primary defence mechanism that advertises unprofitability and discourages predatory attacks. Geographic overlap is a primary determinant of whether individual predators encounter, and thus learn to avoid, such aposematic prey. We experimentally tested whether the conspicuous colouration displayed by Old World pachyrhynchid weevils (Pachyrhynchus tobafolius and Kashotonus multipunctatus) deters predation by visual predators (Swinhoe's tree lizard; Agamidae, Japalura swinhonis). During staged encounters, sympatric lizards attacked weevils without conspicuous patterns at higher rates than weevils with intact conspicuous patterns, whereas allopatric lizards attacked weevils with intact patterns at higher rates than sympatric lizards. Sympatric lizards also attacked masked weevils at lower rates, suggesting that other attributes of the weevils (size/shape/smell) also facilitate recognition. Allopatric lizards rapidly learned to avoid weevils after only a single encounter, and maintained aversive behaviours for more than three weeks. The imperfect ability of visual predators to recognize potential prey as unpalatable, both in the presence and absence of the aposematic signal, may help explain how diverse forms of mimicry exploit the predator's visual system to deter predation.

  1. Supplementation of male pheromone on rock substrates attracts female rock lizards to the territories of males: a field experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Martín

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Many animals produce elaborated sexual signals to attract mates, among them are common chemical sexual signals (pheromones with an attracting function. Lizards produce chemical secretions for scent marking that may have a role in sexual selection. In the laboratory, female rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni prefer the scent of males with more ergosterol in their femoral secretions. However, it is not known whether the scent-marks of male rock lizards may actually attract females to male territories in the field. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the field, we added ergosterol to rocks inside the territories of male lizards, and found that this manipulation resulted in increased relative densities of females in these territories. Furthermore, a higher number of females were observed associated to males in manipulated plots, which probably increased mating opportunities for males in these areas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These and previous laboratory results suggest that female rock lizards may select to settle in home ranges based on the characteristics of scent-marks from conspecific males. Therefore, male rock lizards might attract more females and obtain more matings by increasing the proportion of ergosterol when scent-marking their territories. However, previous studies suggest that the allocation of ergosterol to secretions may be costly and only high quality males could afford it, thus, allowing the evolution of scent-marks as an honest sexual display.

  2. Orientation of lizards in a Morris water-maze: roles of the sun compass and the parietal eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foà, Augusto; Basaglia, Francesca; Beltrami, Giulia; Carnacina, Margherita; Moretto, Elisa; Bertolucci, Cristiano

    2009-09-15

    The present study examined for the first time whether a Morris water-maze can be used to explore compass and other orientation mechanisms in the ruin lizard Podarcis sicula. In the open field, during sunny days, lizards were individually trained to swim from the center of the water maze onto a hidden platform (the goal), positioned at the periphery of the maze in a single compass direction. The goal was invisible because it was placed just beneath the water surface and the water was rendered opaque. The results showed that lizards learn to swim directly towards the hidden goal under the sun in the absence of visual feature cues. We further examined whether the observed orientation response would be due to lizards learning the spatial position of the goal relative to the sun's azimuth, i.e. to the use of a time-compensated sun compass. Lizards reaching learning criteria were subjected to 6 h clock-shift (fast or slow), and tested for goal orientation in the Morris water-maze. Results demonstrated that the learned orientation response is mediated by a time-compensated sun compass. Further investigations provided direct evidence that in ruin lizards an intact parietal eye is required to perform goal orientation under the sun inside a Morris water-maze, and that other brain photoreceptors, like the pineal or deep brain photoreceptors, are not involved in orientation.

  3. African-Americans and Alzheimer's

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Share Plus on Google Plus African-Americans and Alzheimer's alz.org | IHaveAlz Introduction 10 Warning Signs Brain ... African-Americans are at a higher risk for Alzheimer's disease. Many Americans dismiss the warning signs of ...

  4. Mental Health and African Americans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Mental Health Mental Health and African Americans Poverty level affects mental health ... compared to 120% of non-Hispanic whites. 1 MENTAL HEALTH STATUS Serious psychological distress among adults 18 years ...

  5. Helminths infection patterns in a lizard (Tropidurus hispidus) population from a semiarid neotropical area: associations between female reproductive allocation and parasite loads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galdino, Conrado A B; Ávila, Robson W; Bezerra, Castiele H; Passos, Daniel C; Melo, Gabriela C; Zanchi-Silva, Djan

    2014-12-01

    This study reports helminth infection patterns of the lizard Tropidurus hispidus from an area of semiarid caatinga in northeastern Brazil (Ceará state). The lizard population was parasitized by 8 helminth species, and the species composition of the component community resembles that found for other Neotropical lizards. The prevalence of parasites was higher for males compared with females, whereas no relation was found between intensity of infection of 2 parasites (Parapharyngodon alvarengai and Physaloptera lutzi) and the lizards body size. For reproductive females, parasite infection intensity was negatively correlated to reproductive investment.

  6. African Cultural Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Holbrook, Jarita C; Medupe, R. Thebe; Current Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy research in Africa

    2008-01-01

    Astronomy is the science of studying the sky using telescopes and light collectors such as photographic plates or CCD detectors. However, people have always studied the sky and continue to study the sky without the aid of instruments this is the realm of cultural astronomy. This is the first scholarly collection of articles focused on the cultural astronomy of Africans. It weaves together astronomy, anthropology, and Africa. The volume includes African myths and legends about the sky, alignments to celestial bodies found at archaeological sites and at places of worship, rock art with celestial imagery, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions including ethnomathematics and the creation of calendars. Authors include astronomers Kim Malville, Johnson Urama, and Thebe Medupe; archaeologist Felix Chami, and geographer Michael Bonine, and many new authors. As an emerging subfield of cultural astronomy, African cultural astronomy researchers are focused on training students specifically for do...

  7. English as an African Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Gaurav

    1993-01-01

    Discusses the role of the English language in postcolonial African literature, focusing on the politics of language, "Africanized" English, and the social languages used in Chinua Achebe's novels and concludes that English today is as much an African language as a British or American one. (Contains 37 references.) (MDM)

  8. African names for American plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andel, van T.R.

    2015-01-01

    African slaves brought plant knowledge to the New World, sometimes applying it to related plants they found there and sometimes bringing Old World plants with them. By tracing the linguistic parallels between names for plants in African languages and in communities descended from African slaves, pie

  9. The Struggles over African Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseko, Pam; Vale, Peter

    2016-01-01

    In this interview, African Language expert Pam Maseko speaks of her own background and her first encounter with culture outside of her mother tongue, isiXhosa. A statistical breakdown of South African languages is provided as background. She discusses Western (originally missionary) codification of African languages and suggests that this approach…

  10. African agricultural trade

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Hans Grinsted; Sandrey, Ron

    2015-01-01

    This article starts with a profile of African agricultural trade. Using the pre-release version 9.2 of the GTAP database, we then show that the results for tariff elimination on intra-African trade are promising, but these tariff barriers are not as significant as the various trade-related barriers...... outside of tariffs. Impressive results were forecast by simulating both a 50% reduction in what can be considered traditional non-tariff barriers and a modest 20% reduction in the costs associated with transit time delays at customs, terminals and internal land transportation. Gains from tariff...

  11. Ultrasonic-assisted extraction of phenolic and antioxidative compounds from lizard tail (Houttuynia cordata Thunb.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trakul Prommajak

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Lizard tail (Houttuynia cordata Thunb. is an Asian herb which has many biological activities, including antioxidative property from polyphenolic compounds. Response surface methodology and Box-Behnken design were employed to study the effect of extraction temperature (30 to 70°C, extraction time (10 to 30 min, ethanol concentration (30 to 70%, and solvent to sample ratio (2 to 6 ml/g on ultrasonic-assisted extraction of phenolic compounds from lizard tail and antioxidant capacity of the herb extract. Extraction temperature was the most relevant factor on the responses. Optimal condition was the extraction temperature of 70°C for 30 min, using 60% ethanol concentration at the solvent to sample ratio of 5 ml/g. Model adequacies were confirmed by extraction at the optimal condition and normality of standardized residuals.

  12. Lung infection rates in two sympatric Tropiduridae lizard species by pentastomids and nematodes in northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WO. Almeida

    Full Text Available We present data on pulmonary infection rates by parasites in the lizards Tropidurus hispidus Spix, 1825 and T. semitaeniatus (Spix, 1825 living sympatrically in the Chapada do Araripe mountain Range, northeastern Brazil. We found no parasite pulmonary infection in T. semitaeniatus. However, two pulmonary parasite species were found in the T. hispidus hosts, the pentastomid Raillietiella mottae Almeida, Freire and Lopes, 2008 and the nematode Rhabdias sp. Overall prevalence was 5%. Prevalence of R. mottae was 2.5% and corresponded to only one parasite on each infected host. Prevalence of Rhabdias sp. was 2.5% and the range of infection was 1-2 parasites per host. This represents the first record of Rhabdias infecting lizards of the family Tropiduridae in the Neotropical region. Furthermore, we present a comparison of parameters of infection by pulmonary parasites including some recent studies in Brazil.

  13. Checklist of helminths from lizards and amphisbaenians (Reptilia, Squamata of South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RW Ávila

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive and up to date summary of the literature on the helminth parasites of lizards and amphisbaenians from South America is herein presented. One-hundred eighteen lizard species from twelve countries were reported in the literature harboring a total of 155 helminth species, being none acanthocephalans, 15 cestodes, 20 trematodes and 111 nematodes. Of these, one record was from Chile and French Guiana, three from Colombia, three from Uruguay, eight from Bolivia, nine from Surinam, 13 from Paraguay, 12 from Venezuela, 27 from Ecuador, 17 from Argentina, 39 from Peru and 103 from Brazil. The present list provides host, geographical distribution (with the respective biome, when possible, site of infection and references from the parasites. A systematic parasite-host list is also provided.

  14. Telothelepodidae, Thelepodidae and Trichobranchidae (Annelida, Terebelliformia) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchings, Pat; de Matos Nogueira, João Miguel; Carrerette, Orlemir

    2015-09-18

    In a survey of the polychaetes of the Lizard Island region, six species of polychaetes belonging to the families Telothelepodidae Nogueira, Fitzhugh & Hutchings, 2013, Thelepodidae Hessle, 1917 and Trichobranchidae Malmgren, 1866 were found, from material collected during the Lizard Island Polychaete Taxonomic Workshop, and material collected by previous projects undertaken by the Australian Museum. This material includes one new species of Rhinothelepus Hutchings, 1974 (Telothelepodidae); one new species of each of the genera, Euthelepus McIntosh, 1885, Streblosoma Sars, 1872, and Thelepus Leuckart, 1849 (Thelepodidae); and one new species of Terebellides Sars, 1835 and another of Trichobranchus Malmgren, 1866 (Trichobranchidae). Keys for identification of these species are provided, together with full descriptions for all species, as well as comparisons with the morphologically most similar congeners.

  15. A revised key to the lizards of Iran (Reptilia: Squamata: Lacertilia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasrabadi, Reza; Rastegar-Pouyani, Nasrullah; Rastegar-Pouyani, Eskandar; Gharzi, Ahmad

    2017-02-03

    During recent years several lizard taxa have been added to the faunal list of Iran. Descriptions and new records are scattered in different publications in the herpetological literature. We here present species accounts for 152 species belonging to 43 genera and 10 families up to July 2016. The most diverse family is Lacertidae with 9 genera, 49 species and 2 subspecies, followed by Gekkonidae with 13 genera and 43 species, Agamidae with 5 genera, 18 species and 4 subspecies, Scincidae with 7 genera, 18 species and 2 subspecies, Phyllodactylidae with 1 genus and 10 species, Sphaerodactylidae with 2 genera and 4 species, Varanidae with 1 genus, 3 species and 2 subspecies, Uromastycidae with 2 genera and 3 species, Eublepharidae with 1 genus and 3 species, and Anguidae with 2 genera and 2 species. The current paper provides a dichotomous key including all of the currently recognized lizards of Iran.

  16. Helminths infecting the parthenogenetic whiptail lizard Cnemidophorus nativo in a restinga habitat of Bahia State, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menezes, V A; Vrcibradic, D; Vicente, J J; Dutra, G F; Rocha, C F D

    2004-12-01

    A sample of 101 specimens of the unisexual whiptail lizard Cnemidophorus nativo (Squamata; Teiidae) from a coastal site in Bahia State, Brazil were examined for the presence of endoparasites. Of these, 35 (34.7%) harboured helminths. Six helminth species were recovered from C. nativo, including five nematodes (Physaloptera retusa, Physalopteroides venancioi, Subulura lacertilia, Skrjabinelazia intermedia and Parapharyngodon sp., and one cestode (Oochoristica ameivae), all representing new host records. Most lizards were infected by a single species of helminth and none by more than three. Infection rates were neither significantly influenced by host body size nor by environmental factors. The results are compared with data from studies on other whiptail species in both South and North America.

  17. Development of Lifting and Propulsion Mechanism for Biped Robot Inspired by Basilisk Lizards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linsen Xu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The lifting and propulsion mechanism of a novel biped robot inspired by the basilisk lizard's water-walking function has been developed. The movement trajectories of the Watt-I planar linkage are brought out by combining the movement equations of the four-bar mechanism and the coordinate transformation equations, which are used to simulate the foot trajectories of the basilisk lizard, and the lifting and propulsion mechanism of the biped robot walking on water is carried out. The links' parameters are optimized by taking the trajectories overlap ratio as the objective function. The prototype of the biped robot walking on water is manufactured by the results of the kinematic analysis on the robot. And the lifting and propulsion force curve on the robot from water is measured. The experiment results show that the lifting and propulsion system can satisfy the function requirement of the biped robot walking on water.

  18. Prevalence and molecular identification of Cryptosporidium isolates from pet lizards and snakes in Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinaldi L.

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In order to acquire prevalence and genetic data on Cryptosporidium infections in captive lizards and snakes kept as pets, a survey was conducted on 150 individual reptiles from southern Italy. Fecal samples were preserved in 5% formalin and analyzed using a commercial immunofluorescence assay (IFA for the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts. IFA revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in nine of the 150 samples examined (6.0%, precisely in 6/125 snakes (4.8% and in 3/25 lizards (12.0%; all fecal samples tested negative for the presence of Giardia cysts. Molecular characterization based on nested PCR amplification and sequencing of the SSU-rRNA gene, revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium serpentis in three samples from snakes (Boa constrictor constrictor, Elapheguttata guttata guttata and Python molurus.

  19. Testis of the lizard Mabuya carinata: a light microscopic and ultrastructural seasonal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranha, I; Bhagya, M; Yajurvedi, H N

    2006-01-01

    Histomorphology and ultrastructure of the testis during breeding and nonbreeding phases of the reproductive cycle of the lizard Mabuya carinata are studied. Observations of the ultrastructural features of the testis during breeding and nonbreeding phases of the reproductive cycle reveal a prenuptial type of spermatogenesis and a clearcut discontinuous spermatogenic cycle. Seminiferous tubules are enlarged and there is active spermatogenesis as shown by the presence of all the stages of spermatogenesis (spermatogonia to spermatids) and spermatozoa during the breeding phase (November). During the nonbreeding phase (April) only spermatogonia and Sertoli cells are seen in the shrunken seminiferous tubules. Leydig cells and Sertoli cells show distinct changes in the morphological appearance with hypertrophy of the cells in breeding phase and atrophy of the cells in the nonbreeding phase of the reproductive cycle. The present study suggests that Sertoli cells and Leydig cells functions are synchronous in the lizard M. carinata.

  20. East African institutions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nordby, Johannes Riber; Jacobsen, Katja

    For the past decade security in East Africa has gained focus internationally. However there is a growing ambition among African states to handle such issues by themselves, sometimes through regional institutions. This has been supported by many Western states but potential risks are often forgotten....

  1. African Oral Tradition Literacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Doris

    1985-01-01

    Presents the basic principles of two systems for notating African music and dance: Labanotation (created to record and analyze movements) and Greenotation (created to notate musical instruments of Africa and to parallel Labanotation whereby both music and dance are incorporated into one integrated score). (KH)

  2. African Women Writing Resistance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez; Pauline Dongala; Omotayo; Jolaosho; Anne Serafin

    2011-01-01

    AFRICAN Women Writing Resistance is the first transnational anthology to focus on women's strategies of resistance to the challenges they face in Africa today.The anthology brings together personal narratives,testimony,interviews,short stories,poetry,performance scripts,folktales and lyrics.

  3. African tick bite fever

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansen, Jakob Aaquist; Thybo, Søren

    2011-01-01

    The incident of spotted fever imported to Denmark is unknown. We present a classic case of African Tick Bite Fever (ATBF) to highlight a disease, which frequently infects wildlife enthusiasts and hunters on vacation in South Africa. ATBF has a good prognosis and is easily treated with doxycyclin...

  4. Ontogenetic Variation in the Thermal Biology of Yarrow's Spiny Lizard, Sceloporus jarrovii

    OpenAIRE

    Anthony L Gilbert; Lattanzio, Matthew S.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is rapidly altering the way current species interact with their environment to satisfy life-history demands. In areas anticipated to experience extreme warming, rising temperatures are expected to diminish population growth, due either to environmental degradation, or the inability to tolerate novel temperature regimes. Determining how at risk ectotherms, and lizards in particular, are to changes in climate traditionally emphasizes the thermal ecology and thermal sensitivity of...

  5. Length of activity season drives geographic variation in body size of a widely distributed lizard

    OpenAIRE

    Horváthová, Terézia; Cooney, Christopher R.; Fitze, Patrick S; Oksanen, Tuula; Jelic, Dusan; Ghira, Ioan; Uller, Tobias; Jandzik, David

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the factors that drive geographic variation in life history is an important challenge in evolutionary ecology. Here, we analyze what predicts geographic variation in life-history traits of the common lizard, Zootoca vivipara, which has the globally largest distribution range of all terrestrial reptile species. Variation in body size was predicted by differences in the length of activity season, while we found no effects of environmental temperature per se. Females experiencing r...

  6. The role of habitat shift in the evolution of lizard morphology: evidence from tropical Tropidurus

    OpenAIRE

    Vitt, Laurie J.; Caldwell, Janalee P; Zani, Peter A.; Titus, Tom A.

    1997-01-01

    We compared morphology of two geographically close populations of the tropical lizard Tropidurus hispidus to test the hypothesis that habitat structure influences the evolution of morphology and ecology at the population level. T. hispidus isolated on a rock outcrop surrounded by tropical forest use rock crevices for refuge and appear dorsoventrally compressed compared with those in open savanna. A principal components analysis revealed that the populations were differentially distributed alo...

  7. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Pérez-Cembranos

    Full Text Available Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource.

  8. From tameness to wariness: chemical recognition of snake predators by lizards in a Mediterranean island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2017-01-01

    Antipredatory defenses are maintained when benefit exceeds cost. A weak predation pressure may lead insular lizards to tameness. Podarcis lilfordi exhibits a high degree of insular tameness, which may explain its extinction from the main island of Menorca when humans introduced predators. There are three species of lizards in Menorca: the native P. lilfordi, only on the surrounding islets, and two introduced lizards in the main island, Scelarcis perspicillata and Podarcis siculus. In addition, there are three species of snakes, all introduced: one non-saurophagous (Natrix maura), one potentially non-saurophagous (Rhinechis scalaris) and one saurophagous (Macroprotodon mauritanicus). We studied the reaction to snake chemical cues in five populations: (1) P. lilfordi of Colom, (2) P. lilfordi of Aire, (3) P. lilfordi of Binicodrell, (4) S. perspicillata, and (5) P. siculus, ordered by increasing level of predation pressure. The three snakes are present in the main island, while only R. scalaris is present in Colom islet, Aire and Binicodrell being snake-free islets. We aimed to assess the relationship between predation pressure and the degree of insular tameness regarding scent recognition. We hypothesized that P. lilfordi should show the highest degree of tameness, S. perspicillata should show intermediate responses, and P. siculus should show the highest wariness. Results are clear: neither P. lilfordi nor S. perspicillata recognize any of the snakes, while P. siculus recognizes the scent of M. mauritanicus and reacts to it with typical well-defined antipredatory behaviours as tail waving and slow motion. These results rise questions about the loss of chemical recognition of predators during island tameness and its related costs and benefits for lizards of insular habitats. In addition, this highlights the necessity for strong conservation measures to avoid the introduction of alien predators. PMID:28123905

  9. Omnivory of an Insular Lizard: Sources of Variation in the Diet of Podarcis lilfordi (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Cembranos, Ana; León, Alicia; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Through 17 years and from a sample of 7,790 faecal pellets and 26,346 prey items, we studied the diet of the Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi in Aire Island (Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). We analysed the diet in terms of prey frequencies, as well as by their volume and biomass contributions. The diet of the Balearic lizard was extremely variable through the years, months and areas under study. The dominance of small clumped prey, particularly ants, was confirmed. However, the main contribution by volume corresponded to beetles, with a relevant role for Diplopoda and terrestrial Isopoda during some months and at particular areas of the island. Several prey items were probably captured at the base of shrubs, under stones or inside rock crevices. Therefore, our estimations of electivity would only be reliable for epigeal and flying prey. The capacity of the Balearic lizard to include marine subsidies in its diet, such as coastal crustaceans, is noteworthy. Also, its consumption of carrion from carcasses of gulls and rabbits and leftovers from human visitors is remarkable. Juvenile conspecifics can also be a sporadic food resource, especially during the second half of summer, whereas the consumption of vegetal matter is constant for each whole year. The shifts of vegetal exploitation among areas of the island and months take place according to availability of different plant species at each area or during a given period. Thus, lizards are able to conduct a thorough monitoring of plant phenology, exploiting a large variety of plant species. Omnivory does not imply the indiscriminate inclusion of any edible food in its diet. Rather, the inclusion of several food items means the adoption of a wide range of foraging behaviours adapted to the exploitation of each food resource.

  10. Moisture harvesting and water transport through specialized micro-structures on the integument of lizards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Comanns

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Several lizard species that live in arid areas have developed special abilities to collect water with their bodies' surfaces and to ingest the so collected moisture. This is called rain- or moisture-harvesting. The water can originate from air humidity, fog, dew, rain or even from humid soil. The integument (i.e., the skin plus skin derivatives such as scales has developed features so that the water spreads and is soaked into a capillary system in between the reptiles' scales. Within this capillary system the water is transported to the mouth where it is ingested. We have investigated three different lizard species which have developed the ability for moisture harvesting independently, viz. the Australian thorny devil (Moloch horridus, the Arabian toadhead agama (Phrynocephalus arabicus and the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum. All three lizards have a honeycomb like micro ornamentation on the outer surface of the scales and a complex capillary system in between the scales. By investigation of individual scales and by producing and characterising polymer replicas of the reptiles' integuments, we found that the honeycomb like structures render the surface superhydrophilic, most likely by holding a water film physically stable. Furthermore, the condensation of air humidity is improved on this surface by about 100% in comparison to unstructured surfaces. This allows the animals to collect moisture with their entire body surface. The collected water is transported into the capillary system. For Phrynosoma cornutum we found the interesting effect that, in contrast to the other two investigated species, the water flow in the capillary system is not uniform but directed to the mouth. Taken together we found that the micro ornamentation yields a superhydrophilic surface, and the semi-tubular capillaries allow for an efficient passive – and for Phrynosoma directed – transport of water.

  11. Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvestad, Tom; Budaeva, Nataliya

    2015-09-18

    Neosabellides lizae, a new species of Ampharetidae, is described from the intertidal zone off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. The new species is referred to the genus Neosabellides based on the shape of the prostomium, three pairs of branchiae, 14 thoracic segments with notopodia, 12 thoracic uncinigerous segments, and the first two pairs of abdominal uncinigers of thoracic type. The new species differs from all known species of Neosabellides in having 14 abdominal uncinigerous segments.

  12. Glyceriformia Fauchald, 1977 (Annelida: "Polychaeta") from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böggemann, Markus

    2015-09-18

    Eight species of Glyceridae (Glycera brevicirris, Glycera cf. lapidum, Glycera onomichiensis, Glycera sagittariae, Glycera tesselata, Glycera tridactyla, Glycerella magellanica, Hemipodia cf. simplex) and six species of Goniadidae (Goniada antipoda, Goniada cf. brunnea, Goniada echinulata, Goniada emerita, Goniada grahami, Goniada paucidens) have been collected during several expeditions to the vicinity of Lizard Island (Australia, Queensland). An identification key to the Glyceriformia that inhabit the region is presented. Detailed and illustrated morphological descriptions are given for all investigated species.

  13. Predation or Scavenging of Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis Cubs by Lizards?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando César Weber Rosas

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite the fact that several species have been mentioned as being giant otter predators, there is no direct evidence of most of them actually preying on P. brasiliensis. In this study we report for the first time a lizard (Tupinambis teguixin, commonly known as a tegu, either preying or scavenging on a giant otter cub. We also present some interactions of free-ranging giant otters with other potential predators, showing that their interactions are not always negative.

  14. Inferring responses to climate dynamics from historical demography in neotropical forest lizards

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    We apply a comparative framework to test for concerted demographic changes in response to climate shifts in the neotropical lowland forests, learning from the past to inform projections of the future. Using reduced genomic (SNP) data from three lizard species codistributed in Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest (Anolis punctatus, Anolis ortonii, and Polychrus marmoratus), we first reconstruct former population history and test for assemblage-level responses to cycles of moisture transport recent...

  15. Modifications of the dermis during scale regeneration in the lizard tail

    OpenAIRE

    1994-01-01

    During scale morphogenesis in the regenerating tail of lizards (Anolis and Lampropholis) the structure of the dermis undergoes changes in relation to the ingrowth of epidermal papillae to form the new scales. Cell proliferation in the dermis, as revealed by the uptake of 3~-thymidinei,s high in the prescaling region of the regenerating tail but lower than the proliferation in the epidermis. Under the epidermis of the scaling region dermal cell proliferation rap...

  16. From tameness to wariness: chemical recognition of snake predators by lizards in a Mediterranean island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abraham Mencía

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Antipredatory defenses are maintained when benefit exceeds cost. A weak predation pressure may lead insular lizards to tameness. Podarcis lilfordi exhibits a high degree of insular tameness, which may explain its extinction from the main island of Menorca when humans introduced predators. There are three species of lizards in Menorca: the native P. lilfordi, only on the surrounding islets, and two introduced lizards in the main island, Scelarcis perspicillata and Podarcis siculus. In addition, there are three species of snakes, all introduced: one non-saurophagous (Natrix maura, one potentially non-saurophagous (Rhinechis scalaris and one saurophagous (Macroprotodon mauritanicus. We studied the reaction to snake chemical cues in five populations: (1 P. lilfordi of Colom, (2 P. lilfordi of Aire, (3 P. lilfordi of Binicodrell, (4 S. perspicillata, and (5 P. siculus, ordered by increasing level of predation pressure. The three snakes are present in the main island, while only R. scalaris is present in Colom islet, Aire and Binicodrell being snake-free islets. We aimed to assess the relationship between predation pressure and the degree of insular tameness regarding scent recognition. We hypothesized that P. lilfordi should show the highest degree of tameness, S. perspicillata should show intermediate responses, and P. siculus should show the highest wariness. Results are clear: neither P. lilfordi nor S. perspicillata recognize any of the snakes, while P. siculus recognizes the scent of M. mauritanicus and reacts to it with typical well-defined antipredatory behaviours as tail waving and slow motion. These results rise questions about the loss of chemical recognition of predators during island tameness and its related costs and benefits for lizards of insular habitats. In addition, this highlights the necessity for strong conservation measures to avoid the introduction of alien predators.

  17. Elevational variation in body-temperature response to immune challenge in a lizard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Javier Zamora-Camacho

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Immunocompetence benefits animal fitness by combating pathogens, but also entails some costs. One of its main components is fever, which in ectotherms involves two main types of costs: energy expenditure and predation risk. Whenever those costs of fever outweigh its benefits, ectotherms are expected not to develop fever, or even to show hypothermia, reducing costs of thermoregulation and diverting the energy saved to other components of the immune system. Environmental thermal quality, and therefore the thermoregulation cost/benefit balance, varies geographically. Hence, we hypothesize that, in alpine habitats, immune-challenged ectotherms should show no thermal response, given that (1 hypothermia would be very costly, as the temporal window for reproduction is extremely small, and (2 fever would have a prohibitive cost, as heat acquisition is limited in such habitat. However, in temperate habitats, immune-challenged ectotherms might show a febrile response, due to lower cost/benefit balance as a consequence of a more suitable thermal environment. We tested this hypothesis in Psammodromus algirus lizards from Sierra Nevada (SE Spain, by testing body temperature preferred by alpine and non-alpine lizards, before and after activating their immune system with a typical innocuous pyrogen. Surprisingly, non-alpine lizards responded to immune challenge by decreasing preferential body-temperature, presumably allowing them to save energy and reduce exposure to predators. On the contrary, as predicted, immune-challenged alpine lizards maintained their body-temperature preferences. These results match with increased costs of no thermoregulation with elevation, due to the reduced window of time for reproduction in alpine environment.

  18. Ontogenetic Variation in the Thermal Biology of Yarrow's Spiny Lizard, Sceloporus jarrovii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Anthony L; Lattanzio, Matthew S

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is rapidly altering the way current species interact with their environment to satisfy life-history demands. In areas anticipated to experience extreme warming, rising temperatures are expected to diminish population growth, due either to environmental degradation, or the inability to tolerate novel temperature regimes. Determining how at risk ectotherms, and lizards in particular, are to changes in climate traditionally emphasizes the thermal ecology and thermal sensitivity of physiology of adult members of a population. In this study, we reveal ontogenetic differences in thermal physiological and ecological traits that have been used to anticipate how ectotherms will respond to climate change. We show that the thermal biological traits of juvenile Yarrow's Spiny Lizards (Sceloporus jarrovii) differ from the published estimates of the same traits for adult lizards. Juvenile S. jarrovii differ in their optimal performance temperature, field field-active body temperature, and critical thermal temperatures compared to adult S. jarrovii. Within juvenile S. jarrovii, males and females exhibit differences in field-active body temperature and desiccation tolerance. Given the observed age- and sex-related variation in thermal physiology, we argue that not including physiological differences in thermal biology throughout ontogeny may lead to misinterpretation of patterns of ecological or evolutionary change due to climate warming. Further characterizing the potential for ontogenetic changes in thermal biology would be useful for a more precise and accurate estimation of the role of thermal physiology in mediating population persistence in warmer environments.

  19. Ontogenetic Variation in the Thermal Biology of Yarrow's Spiny Lizard, Sceloporus jarrovii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony L Gilbert

    Full Text Available Climate change is rapidly altering the way current species interact with their environment to satisfy life-history demands. In areas anticipated to experience extreme warming, rising temperatures are expected to diminish population growth, due either to environmental degradation, or the inability to tolerate novel temperature regimes. Determining how at risk ectotherms, and lizards in particular, are to changes in climate traditionally emphasizes the thermal ecology and thermal sensitivity of physiology of adult members of a population. In this study, we reveal ontogenetic differences in thermal physiological and ecological traits that have been used to anticipate how ectotherms will respond to climate change. We show that the thermal biological traits of juvenile Yarrow's Spiny Lizards (Sceloporus jarrovii differ from the published estimates of the same traits for adult lizards. Juvenile S. jarrovii differ in their optimal performance temperature, field field-active body temperature, and critical thermal temperatures compared to adult S. jarrovii. Within juvenile S. jarrovii, males and females exhibit differences in field-active body temperature and desiccation tolerance. Given the observed age- and sex-related variation in thermal physiology, we argue that not including physiological differences in thermal biology throughout ontogeny may lead to misinterpretation of patterns of ecological or evolutionary change due to climate warming. Further characterizing the potential for ontogenetic changes in thermal biology would be useful for a more precise and accurate estimation of the role of thermal physiology in mediating population persistence in warmer environments.

  20. The importance of habitat resistance for movement decisions in the common lizard, Lacerta vivipara

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zajitschek Susanne RK

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Movement behaviour can be influenced by a multitude of biotic and abiotic factors. Here, we investigate the speed of movement in relation to environmental and individual phenotypic properties in subadult common lizards (Lacerta vivipara. We aim to disentangle the importance of substrate, cover, humidity, basking opportunity and individual phenotype on moving tendencies in 12 treatment combinations, at which each lizard was tested. Results We find that movement behaviour depends on the starting conditions, the physical properties of the dispersal corridor, and on the individuals’ phenotype. Specifically, the presence of cover and substrate providing suitable traction in the corridor had positive effects on individual movement decisions. Additionally, we find high phenotypic variation in the propensity to move dependent on the presence of cover. Individual back patterns also strongly affected movement decisions in interaction with the physical properties of the dispersal corridor. Conclusions Our results highlight the importance of understanding the habitat resistance for movement patterns, with humid habitats with covering vegetation providing the best conditions to initiate movement in the common lizard. In addition, population effects, differences in back pattern phenotype and individual plasticity were identified as key parameters influencing movement behaviour.

  1. Directional evolution of stockiness coevolves with ecology and locomotion in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergmann, Philip J; Meyers, Jay J; Irschick, Duncan J

    2009-01-01

    Although studied in many taxa, directional macroevolution remains difficult to detect and quantify. We present an approach for detecting directional evolution in subclades of species when relatively few species are sampled, and apply it to studying the evolution of stockiness in Phrynosomatine lizards. Our approach is more sensitive to detecting the tempo of directional evolution than other available approaches. We use ancestral reconstruction and phylogenetic mapping of morphology to characterize the direction and magnitude of trait evolution. We demonstrate a directional trend toward stockiness in horned lizards, but not their sister groups, finding that stockier species tend to have relatively short and wide bodies, and relatively short heads, tails, and limbs. Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models show that the directional trend in horned lizards is due to a shift in selective regime and stabilizing selection as opposed to directional selection. Bayesian evolutionary correlation analyses indicate that stockier species run more slowly and eat a larger proportion of ants. Furthermore, species with larger horns tend to be slower and more ant-specialized. Directional evolution toward a stocky body shape has evolved in conjunction with changes in a suite of traits, representing a complex example of directional macroevolution.

  2. The effect of light on melatonin secretion in the cultured pineal glands of Anolis lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Ashli F; Menaker, Michael

    2011-10-01

    Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, is important for regulating circadian rhythms in many animals. Light at night causes an acute suppression of melatonin in nearly all vertebrate species. A previous study found that light failed to suppress melatonin in the lizard Anolis carolinensis. This is a surprising result given that the Anolis pineal gland is intrinsically photosensitive, is a key pacemaker controlling locomotor activity, and can be directly entrained to a light-dark cycle. To find out if the lack of photic suppression is widespread in the Anolis genus, we investigated the acute effects of light on melatonin secretion in five different species of Anolis using flow-through tissue culture. We administered a two-hour pulse of bright light to isolated pineal glands during the night. The results show photic suppression of melatonin in all five Anolis species, but the suppression is weak relative to that seen in other vertebrates. Moreover, Anolis species differ in the magnitude of the effect. These findings are discussed in the context of vertebrate pineal evolution and the ecology of Anolis lizards. Given their extensive phylogenetic and ecological divergence, Anolis lizards provide a promising system for investigating the ecology and evolution of circadian organization.

  3. Life on the rocks: habitat use drives morphological and performance evolution in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Brett A; Miles, Donald B; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2008-12-01

    As a group, lizards occupy a vast array of habitats worldwide, yet there remain relatively few cases where habitat use (ecology), morphology, and thus, performance, are clearly related. The best known examples include: increased limb length in response to increased arboreal perch diameter in anoles and increased limb length in response to increased habitat openness for some skinks. Rocky habitats impose strong natural selection on specific morphological characteristics, which differs from that imposed on terrestrial species, because moving about on inclined substrates of irregular sizes and shapes constrains locomotor performance in predictable ways. We quantified habitat use, morphology, and performance of 19 species of lizards (family Scincidae, subfamily Lygosominae) from 23 populations in tropical Australia. These species use habitats with considerable variation in rock availability. Comparative phylogenetic analyses revealed that occupation of rock-dominated habitats correlated with the evolution of increased limb length, compared to species from forest habitats that predominantly occupied leaf litter. Moreover, increased limb length directly affected performance, with species from rocky habitats having greater sprinting, climbing, and clinging ability than their relatives from less rocky habitats. Thus, we found that the degree of rock use is correlated with both morphological and performance evolution in this group of tropical lizards.

  4. Giant lizards occupied herbivorous mammalian ecospace during the Paleogene greenhouse in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Jason J; Gunnell, Gregg F; Holroyd, Patricia A; Hutchison, J Howard; Ciochon, Russell L

    2013-07-22

    Mammals dominate modern terrestrial herbivore ecosystems, whereas extant herbivorous reptiles are limited in diversity and body size. The evolution of reptile herbivory and its relationship to mammalian diversification is poorly understood with respect to climate and the roles of predation pressure and competition for food resources. Here, we describe a giant fossil acrodontan lizard recovered with a diverse mammal assemblage from the late middle Eocene Pondaung Formation of Myanmar, which provides a historical test of factors controlling body size in herbivorous squamates. We infer a predominately herbivorous feeding ecology for the new acrodontan based on dental anatomy, phylogenetic relationships and body size. Ranking body masses for Pondaung Formation vertebrates indicates that the lizard occupied a size niche among the larger herbivores and was larger than most carnivorous mammals. Paleotemperature estimates of Pondaung Formation environments based on the body size of the new lizard are approximately 2-5°C higher than modern. These results indicate that competitive exclusion and predation by mammals did not restrict body size evolution in these herbivorous squamates, and elevated temperatures relative to modern climates during the Paleogene greenhouse may have resulted in the evolution of gigantism through elevated poikilothermic metabolic rates and in response to increases in floral productivity.

  5. Immunocalization of telomerase in cells of lizard tail after amputation suggests cell activation for tail regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, L

    2016-02-01

    Tail amputation (autotomy) in most lizards elicits a remarkable regenerative response leading to a new although simplified tail. No information on the trigger mechanism following wounding is known but cells from the stump initiate to proliferate and form a regenerative blastema. The present study shows that telomerases are mainly activated in the nuclei of various connective and muscle satellite cells of the stump, and in other tissues, probably responding to the wound signals. Western blotting detection also indicates that telomerase positive bands increases in the regenerating blastema in comparison to the normal tail. Light and ultrastructural immunocytochemistry localization of telomerase shows that 4-14 days post-amputation in lizards immunopositive nuclei of sparse cells located among the wounded tissues are accumulating into the forming blastema. These cells mainly include fibroblasts and fat cells of the connective tissue and satellite cells of muscles. Also some immature basophilic and polychromatophilic erytroblasts, lymphoblasts and myelocytes present within the Bone Marrow of the vertebrae show telomerase localization in their nuclei, but their contribution to the formation of the regenerative blastema remains undetermined. The study proposes that one of the initial mechanisms triggering cell proliferation for the formation of the blastema in lizards involve gene activation for the production of telomerase that stimulates the following signaling pathways for cell division and migration.

  6. Evidence for a carotid body homolog in the lizard Tupinambis merianae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichert, Michelle N; Brink, Deidre L; Milsom, William K

    2015-01-15

    The homolog to the mammalian carotid body has not yet been identified in lizards. Observational studies and evolutionary history provide indirect evidence for the existence of a chemoreceptor population at the first major bifurcation of the common carotid artery in lizards, but a chemoreceptive role for this area has not yet been definitively demonstrated. We explored this possibility by measuring changes in cardiorespiratory variables in response to focal arterial injections of the hypoxia mimic sodium cyanide (NaCN) into the carotid artery of 12 unanesthetized specimens of Tupinambis merianae. These injections elicited increases in heart rate (f(H); 101±35% increase) and respiratory rate (f(R); 620±119% increase), but not mean arterial blood pressure (MAP). These responses were eliminated by vagal denervation. Similar responses were elicited by injections of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine (ACh) and serotonin (5-HT) but not norepinephrine. Heart rate and respiratory rate increases in response to NaCN could be blocked or reduced by antagonists to ACh (atropine) and/or 5-HT (methysergide). Finally, using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrate the presence of putative chemoreceptive cells immunopositive for the cholinergic cell marker vesicular ACh transporter (VAChT) and 5-HT on internal lattice-like structures at the carotid bifurcation. These results provide evidence in lizards for the existence of dispersed chemoreceptor cells at the first carotid bifurcation in the central cardiovascular area that have similar properties to known carotid body homologs, adding to the picture of chemoreceptor evolution in vertebrates.

  7. A gravid lizard from the Cretaceous of China and the early history of squamate viviparity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuan; Evans, Susan E.

    2011-09-01

    Although viviparity is most often associated with mammals, roughly one fifth of extant squamate reptiles give birth to live young. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the trait evolved more than 100 times within Squamata, a frequency greater than that of all other vertebrate clades combined. However, there is debate as to the antiquity of the trait and, until now, the only direct fossil evidence of squamate viviparity was in Late Cretaceous mosasauroids, specialised marine lizards without modern equivalents. Here, we document viviparity in a specimen of a more generalised lizard, Yabeinosaurus, from the Early Cretaceous of China. The gravid female contains more than 15 young at a level of skeletal development corresponding to that of late embryos of living viviparous lizards. This specimen documents the first occurrence of viviparity in a fossil reptile that was largely terrestrial in life, and extends the temporal distribution of the trait in squamates by at least 30 Ma. As Yabeinosaurus occupies a relatively basal position within crown-group squamates, it suggests that the anatomical and physiological preconditions for viviparity arose early within Squamata.

  8. Allelic expression of mammalian imprinted genes in a matrotrophic lizard, Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, Oliver W; Brandley, Matthew C; Belov, Katherine; Thompson, Michael B

    2016-03-01

    Genomic imprinting is a process that results in the differential expression of genes depending on their parent of origin. It occurs in both plants and live-bearing mammals, with imprinted genes typically regulating the ability of an embryo to manipulate the maternal provision of nutrients. Genomic imprinting increases the potential for selection to act separately on paternally and maternally expressed genes, which increases the number of opportunities that selection can facilitate embryonic control over maternal nutrient provision. By looking for imprinting in an independent matrotrophic lineage, the viviparous lizard Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii (Scincidae), we test the hypothesis that genomic imprinting facilitates the evolution of substantial placental nutrient transport to embryos (matrotrophy). We sequenced transcriptomes from the embryonic component of lizard placentae to determine whether there are parent-of-origin differences in expression of genes that are imprinted in mammals. Of these genes, 19 had sufficiently high expression in the lizard to identify polymorphisms in transcribed sequences. We identified bi-allelic expression in 17 genes (including insulin-like growth factor 2), indicating that neither allele was imprinted. These data suggest that either genomic imprinting has not evolved in this matrotrophic skink or, if it has, it has evolved in different genes to mammals. We outline how these hypotheses can be tested. This study highlights important differences between mammalian and reptile pregnancy and the absence of any shared imprinting genes reflects fundamental differences in the way that pregnancy has evolved in these two lineages.

  9. Controlled preparation of wet granular media reveals limits to lizard burial ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Sarah S.; Kuckuk, Robyn; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2015-07-01

    Many animals move within ground composed of granular media (GM); the resistive properties of such substrates can depend on water content and compaction, but little is known about how such parameters affect locomotion or the physics of drag and penetration. Using apparatus to control compaction of GM, our recent studies of movement in dry GM have revealed locomotion strategies of specialized dry-sand-swimming reptiles. However, these animals represent a small fraction of the diversity and presumed burial strategies of fossorial reptilian fauna. Here we develop a system to create states of wet GM of varying moisture content and compaction in quantities sufficient to study the burial and subsurface locomotion of the Ocellated skink (C. ocellatus), a generalist lizard. X-ray imaging revealed that in wet and dry GM the lizard slowly buried (≈ 30 s) propagating a wave from head to tail, while moving in a start-stop motion. During forward movement, the head oscillated, and the forelimb on the convex side of the body propelled the animal. Although body kinematics and ‘slip’ were similar in both substrates, the burial depth was smaller in wet GM. Penetration and drag force experiments on smooth cylinders revealed that wet GM was ≈ 4× more resistive than dry GM. In total, our measurements indicate that while the rheology of the dry and wet GM differ substantially, the lizard's burial motor pattern is conserved across substrates, while its burial depth is largely constrained by environmental resistance.

  10. Some coccidial parasites of the lizard Amphisbaena alba (Reptilia: Amphisbaenia: Amphisbaenidae

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    Ralph Lainson

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Five parasites are described in the lizard Amphisbaena alba (Amphisbaenidae from the state of Pará, North Brazil. Mature oocysts of Choleoeimeria amphisbaenae n. sp., are passed already mature in the faeces. They are ellipsoidal-cylindrical, average 33.7 x 22.8 µm and are devoid of micropyle, oocyst residuum or polar body. The colourless wall is smooth and of 2 layers. The 4 dizoic sporocysts have no Stieda body and average 13 x 9.3 µm. Endogenous stages develop in the epithelial cells of the gall-bladder in the manner described for the genus and may cause extensive tissue damage. Sporulation of Isospora capanemaensis n. sp., is completed 3 days after the oocysts are voided in the faeces. They average 14.8 x 14.5 µm and have no micropyle, oocyst residuum or polar body. The 2 tetrazoic sporocysts are pear-shaped, average 8.6 x 6.6 and have an inconspicuous Stieda body. Endogenous development is in the epithelial cells of the ileum, and heavy infections cause considerable tissue destruction. Multisporocystic oocysts passed in the faeces of one A. alba possibly originated from an invertebrate host ingested by the lizard. A globidium-like cyst in the digestive tract of A. alba measured 105 x 85 µm and contained many hundreds of merozoites. A stained kidney smear of the same lizard revealed the presence of an unidentified parasite producing multinucleate cyst-like stages.

  11. Defense behavior and tail loss in the endemic lizard Eurolophosaurus nanuzae (Squamata, Tropiduridae from southeastern Brazil

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    Conrado A. B. Galdino

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Defense behavior of the endemic tropidurid lizard Eurolophosaurus nanuzae was studied in an area of rocky outcrops at Serra do Cipó, Minas Gerais State, southeastern Brazil. Tail loss aspects of this species were also studied in lizards from three populations (Diamantina, Serra do Cipó, and Serro, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Lizards relied primarily on crypsis to avoid detection by predators. Secondary defense strategies involved a complex set of behaviors. Mean maximum distance of flight was 1.68 ± 1.70 m. When captured,individuals attempted to flee, lifted the tail, produced distress calls, discharged the cloacal contents, waived their tails, and bit. Frequency of tail autotomy was 13.2% (n = 53 in Diamantina, 11.9% (n = 42 in Serra do Cipó, and 4.1% (n = 49 in Serro. Tail autotomy frequency did not differ among the three populations (X2 = 3.3, DF =2, p = 0.19. Tail autotomy did not vary between the years of the study (X2 = 1.32, p = 0.35 and did not differ between males and females among the studied populations.

  12. Survey of birds and lizards for ixodid ticks (Acari) and spirochetal infection in northern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manweiler, S A; Lane, R S; Block, W M; Morrison, M L

    1990-11-01

    A total of 138 birds (24 species) was captured in an oak woodland between December 1988 and June 1989 at the University of California, Sierra Foothill Range Field Station, Yuba County, Calif. Ticks were not found on 71 birds captured between December 1988 and March 1989. Five subadult Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls were removed from 3 of 67 birds caught between April and June 1989. These three birds, an orange-crowned warbler (Vermivora celata (Say], a lazuli bunting (Passerina amoena (Say], and a chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina (Bechstein], represent new host records for I. pacificus in California. Tissues from two ticks and thick blood films prepared from 126 birds tested negative for spirochetes by direct immunofluorescence (DI). A total of 172 larval and 197 nymphal I. pacificus was removed from 15 of 16 western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis Baird & Girard) caught between April and June 1989 in the same location as were birds. Thick blood films prepared from all 16 lizards and tissue smears from 334 of the ticks (143 larvae and 191 nymphs) were DI test-negative for spirochetes. One (1.1%) of 93 adult I. pacificus collected at the bird-lizard capture site in February 1989 was infected with spirochetes that resembled B. burgdorferi.

  13. Correlation between ovarian steroidogenesis and beta-endorphin in the Lizard Uromastyx acanthinura: Immunohistochemical approach.

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    Jean Marie Exbrayat

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In Mammals, opioid peptides are involved in various physiological processes including the reproductive function. The knowledge of the distribution of beta-endorphin, one of opioid peptides in Reptiles ovaries is very limited. Therefore, the present study used the lizard ovarian follicles to further elucidate the role of this peptide in steroidogenesis. In Uromastyx acanthinura, the localization of both this peptide and sex steroid hormone was investigated by the immunohistochemical approach. This technique was used to evaluate the distribution of these substances and their relationship. The beta-endorphin is strongly distributed in the granulosa cells and oocyte cytoplasm of the previtellogenic follicles in sexually quiescent lizards (winter when steroidogenesis was interrupted. In spring, the signal became weak, or even absent, in the vitellogenic and previtellogenic follicles. The granulosa cells of the previtellogenic follicles showed an important synthesis of 17beta-estradiol. Females that did not undergo in vitellogenesis in spring showed the same profile than quiescent females of winter. These findings represent the first evidence of the presence of beta-endorphin in the ovary of this lizard. The seasonal variations observed in the reproductive cycle suggest that this opioid peptide is involved in the modulation of seasonal steroidogenesis.

  14. Pre- and Postcopulatory Traits of Salvator Male Lizards in Allopatry and Sympatry

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    Sergio Naretto

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The reproductive traits of males are under influence of sexual pressures before and after copulation. The strength of sexual selection varies across populations because they undergo varying competition for mating opportunities. Besides intraspecific pressures, individuals seem to be subjected to pressures driven by interspecific interactions in sympatry. Lizards may vary their reproductive strategies through varying sexual characters, body size, gonadal investment, and sperm traits. We evaluated the reproductive traits, involved in pre- and postcopulatory competition, in allopatric and sympatric populations of Salvator lizards. We observed a spatial gradient of male competition among populations, with the following order: allopatric zone of S. rufescens; sympatric zone; and allopatric zone of S. merianae. Accordingly, variation in secondary sexual character, the relative testis mass, and the length of sperm component was observed between allopatry and sympatry in each species, suggesting differences in the investment of reproductive traits. However, we found that these two Salvator species did not differ in secondary sexual characters in sympatry. Interestingly, the trade-off between testes and muscle varied differently from allopatry to sympatry between these Salvator species, suggesting that the influence of social context on reproductive traits investment would affect lizard species differently.

  15. How phylogeny and foraging ecology drive the level of chemosensory exploration in lizards and snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeckens, S; Van Damme, R; Cooper, W E

    2017-03-01

    The chemical senses are crucial for squamates (lizards and snakes). The extent to which squamates utilize their chemosensory system, however, varies greatly among taxa and species' foraging strategies, and played an influential role in squamate evolution. In lizards, 'Scleroglossa' evolved a state where species use chemical cues to search for food (active foragers), whereas 'Iguania' retained the use of vision to hunt prey (ambush foragers). However, such strict dichotomy is flawed as shifts in foraging modes have occurred in all clades. Here, we attempted to disentangle effects of foraging ecology from phylogenetic trait conservatism as leading cause of the disparity in chemosensory investment among squamates. To do so, we used species' tongue-flick rate (TFR) in the absence of ecological relevant chemical stimuli as a proxy for its fundamental level of chemosensory investigation, that is baseline TFR. Based on literature data of nearly 100 species and using phylogenetic comparative methods, we tested whether and how foraging mode and diet affect baseline TFR. Our results show that baseline TFR is higher in active than ambush foragers. Although baseline TFRs appear phylogenetically stable in some lizard taxa, that is a consequence of concordant stability of foraging mode: when foraging mode shifts within taxa, so does baseline TFR. Also, baseline TFR is a good predictor of prey chemical discriminatory ability, as we established a strong positive relationship between baseline TFR and TFR in response to prey. Baseline TFR is unrelated to diet. Essentially, foraging mode, not phylogenetic relatedness, drives convergent evolution of similar levels of squamate chemosensory investigation.

  16. Ontogenic development of spermatids during spermiogenesis in the high altitude bunchgrass lizard (Sceloporus bicanthalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rheubert, Justin; Touzinsky, Katherine; Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo; Granados-González, Gisela; Gribbins, Kevin

    2012-04-01

    The body of ultrastructural data on spermatid characters during spermiogenesis continues to grow in reptiles, but is still relatively limited within the squamates. This study focuses on the ontogenic events of spermiogenesis within a viviparous and continually spermatogenic lizard, from high altitude in Mexico. Between the months of June and August, testicular tissues were collected from eight spermatogenically active bunchgrass lizards (Sceloporus bicanthalis) from Nevado de Toluca, México. The testicular tissues were processed for transmission electron microscopy and analyzed to access the ultrastructural differences between spermatid generations during spermiogenesis. Interestingly, few differences exist between S. bicanthalis spermiogenesis when compared with what has been described for other saurian squamates. Degrading and coiling membrane structures similar to myelin figures were visible within the developing acrosome that are likely remnants from Golgi body vesicles. During spermiogenesis, an electron lucent area between the subacrosomal space and the acrosomal medulla was observed, which has been observed in other squamates but not accurately described. Thus, we elect to term this region the acrosomal lucent ridge. This study furthers the existing knowledge of spermatid development in squamates, which could be useful in future work on the reproductive systems in high altitude viviparous lizard species.

  17. Influence of corticosterone on FSH-induced ovarian recrudescence in the lizard Mabuya carinata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijagal, B S; Yajurvedi, H N

    1999-09-01

    Administration of bovine FSH (10 IU/lizard/alternate day for 30 days) in the postbreeding quiescent phase of the ovarian cycle caused a significant increase in the mean number of oogonia and oocytes, the relative weight of the oviduct, and the liver and serum estradiol levels compared to those of controls. In addition, the FSH-treated lizards showed a vitellogenic growth of follicles and development through to preovulatory follicles. However, the administration of corticosterone simultaneously with FSH (10 IU FSH + 40 microgram corticosterone/lizard/alternate day for 30 days) did not result in these changes and the ovaries resembled those of controls. The results indicate the absence of ovarian refractoriness to gonadotropic stimulation during the quiescent phase of the reproductive cycle and inhibition of FSH-induced ovarian recrudescence by corticosterone. It is suggested that corticosterone treatment reduces FSH-induced steroidogenic activity of the ovary, leads to impairment in vitellogenin secretion by the liver, and results as well in the failure of vitellogenic follicular growth in Mabuya carinata.

  18. The anatomy and histology of caudal autotomy and regeneration in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Emily A B; Payne, Samantha L; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Caudal autotomy-the ability to self-detach the tail-is a dramatic adaptation common to many structural-grade lizards. For most species, tail loss is followed by the equally dramatic phenomenon of tail regeneration. Here we review the anatomy and histology of caudal autotomy and regeneration in lizards, drawing heavily from research published over the past 2 decades. The autotomous tail is characterized by various structural adaptations, which act to minimize blood loss and trauma to adjacent tissues. The early phase of wound healing involves a leukocytic response but limited inflammation. Reepithelialization via a specialized wound epithelium is not only critical for scar-free healing but also necessary for subsequent tissue patterning and regenerative outgrowth. Regeneration begins with the formation of the blastema, a mass of proliferating mesenchymal-like cells. As the blastema expands, it is invaded by blood vessels and the spinal cord. Whereas the replacement tail outwardly resembles the original appendage, it differs in several notable respects, including the tissue composition and organization of the skeleton, muscular system, and spinal cord. Increasingly, the lizard tail is being recognized among biomedical scientists as an important model for the study of wound healing and multitissue restoration.

  19. Directional, passive liquid transport: the Texas horned lizard as a model for a biomimetic 'liquid diode'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comanns, Philipp; Buchberger, Gerda; Buchsbaum, Andreas; Baumgartner, Richard; Kogler, Alexander; Bauer, Siegfried; Baumgartner, Werner

    2015-08-01

    Moisture-harvesting lizards such as the Texas horned lizard (Iguanidae: Phrynosoma cornutum) live in arid regions. Special skin adaptations enable them to access water sources such as moist sand and dew: their skin is capable of collecting and transporting water directionally by means of a capillary system between the scales. This fluid transport is passive, i.e. requires no external energy, and directs water preferentially towards the lizard's snout. We show that this phenomenon is based on geometric principles, namely on a periodic pattern of interconnected half-open capillary channels that narrow and widen. Following a biomimetic approach, we used these principles to develop a technical prototype design. Building upon the Young-Laplace equation, we derived a theoretical model for the local behaviour of the liquid in such capillaries. We present a global model for the penetration velocity validated by experimental data. Artificial surfaces designed in accordance with this model prevent liquid flow in one direction while sustaining it in the other. Such passive directional liquid transport could lead to process improvements and reduction of resources in many technical applications.

  20. Intersexual chemo-sensation in a “visually-oriented” lizard, Anolis sagrei

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    Simon Baeckens

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available While the conspicuous visual displays of anoles have been studied in great depth, the possibility that these lizards may also interact through chemical signalling has received hardly any consideration. In this study, we observed the behaviour of male brown anoles (Anolis sagrei when introduced into an environment previously inhabited by female conspecifics, and compared it to when they were introduced into an untreated environment. The males in our tests exhibited significantly more elaborate display behaviour (i.e., greater number of dewlap extensions and head-nods and a significantly greater number of tongue extrusions while in the cage formerly occupied by females than when placed in the untreated, control cage. The absolute numbers of tongue extrusions, however, were relatively low in comparison to average tongue-flick rates of ‘true’ chemically-oriented lizards. Our results strongly suggest that the males were capable of detecting chemical cues left behind by the females. These observations provide the first evidence of intersexual chemo-sensation in an anole lizard.

  1. Natural history of the lizard Enyalius iheringii (Squamata, Leiosauridae in southern Brazilian Atlantic forest

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    Ricardo Rautenberg

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Studies on the natural history of the lizard Enyalius iheringii Boulenger, 1885, as well as other tropical lizards, are rare. In this study, some aspects of the natural history of this endemic species from the Atlantic forest are reported in areas of Vale do Itajaí, state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Twenty individuals were found, of which 18 were collected. Most of them were found over the vegetation (n=17 and on the ground (n=3. The main defensive strategy displayed was camouflage (n=16. Jumping (n=1, jumping and running (n=1 and running (n=2 were also observed in some individuals. When handled, lizards exhibited mouth wide open, hissing, and occasionally biting, as well as color change in males. Regarding its diet, the numerically most important prey was beetles (Coleoptera, followed by Lepidoptera larvae. Beetles, lepidopteran larvae and spiders were the most frequent food items. Males and females did not differ in size. Three sexually mature females (100-113 mm SVL were found in December and January.

  2. Female genital mutilation in African and African American women's literature

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    Darja Marinšek

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The article builds on the existing dispute between African and African American women writers on the competence of writing about female genital mutilation (FGM, and tries to determine the existence and nature of the differences between the writings of these two groups. The author uses comparative analysis of two popular African and African American novels, comparing their ways of describing FGM, its causes and consequences, the level ob objectivity and the style of the narrations.This is followed by a discussion on the reasons for such differences, incorporating a larger circle of both African and African American women authors, at the same time analysing the deviance within the two groups. While the differences between African American writers are not that great, as they mostly fail to present the issue from different points of view, which is often the result of their lack of direct knowledge of the topic, African authors' writing is in itself discovered to be ambivalent and not at all invariable. The reasons for such ambivalence are then discussed in greater context, focusing on the effect of the authors' personal contact with circumcision as well as their knowledge and acceptance of Western values. The author concludes by establishing the African ambivalent attitude towards FGM, which includes different aspects of the issue, as the most significant difference between their and African American writers' description of this practice.

  3. Ecology and reproductive patterns of the agamid lizard Japalura swinhonis on an east Asian island, with comments on the small clutch sizes of island lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wen-San

    2007-02-01

    I describe the habitat use, diet, and the male and female reproductive cycles of Japalura swinhonis, an oviparous agamid lizard inhabiting Orchid Island, a tropical island off the southeastern coast of Taiwan. Ninety percent of lizards (n=126) were observed on tree trunks or at the forest edge. The diet of J. swinhonis on Orchid Island consisted mostly of hymenopterans (53.33%) and orthopterans (16.67%). The mean snout-vent length (SVL) of adult males was 74.58 (n=89) and that of females was 69.31 (n=37) mm. Females exhibited a long vitellogenic period from November to February, with parturition occurring from March to October. The onset of vitellogenesis did not correlate with the mass of the female fat bodies. Females produced two to five eggs per clutch, and clutch size was not correlated with SVL. Two clutches were recorded during a single year in some individuals. Clutch size in J. swinhonis was compared with that in other Japalura species. Clutch sizes of Japalura species are larger in mainland China than on insular Taiwan. Clutch size is also mainly affected by environmental constraints, and smaller clutch sizes are probably affected by predators on Orchid Island.

  4. Recovery of frog and lizard communities following primary habitat alteration in Mizoram, Northeast India

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    Rawat Gopal S

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Community recovery following primary habitat alteration can provide tests for various hypotheses in ecology and conservation biology. Prominent among these are questions related to the manner and rate of community assembly after habitat perturbation. Here we use space-for-time substitution to analyse frog and lizard community assembly along two gradients of habitat recovery following slash and burn agriculture (jhum in Mizoram, Northeast India. One recovery gradient undergoes natural succession to mature tropical rainforest, while the other involves plantation of jhum fallows with teak Tectona grandis monoculture. Results Frog and lizard communities accumulated species steadily during natural succession, attaining characteristics similar to those from mature forest after 30 years of regeneration. Lizards showed higher turnover and lower augmentation of species relative to frogs. Niche based classification identified a number of guilds, some of which contained both frogs and lizards. Successional change in species richness was due to increase in the number of guilds as well as the number of species per guild. Phylogenetic structure increased with succession for some guilds. Communities along the teak plantation gradient on the other hand, did not show any sign of change with chronosere age. Factor analysis revealed sets of habitat variables that independently determined changes in community and guild composition during habitat recovery. Conclusions The timescale of frog and lizard community recovery was comparable with that reported by previous studies on different faunal groups in other tropical regions. Both communities converged on primary habitat attributes during natural vegetation succession, the recovery being driven by deterministic, nonlinear changes in habitat characteristics. On the other hand, very little faunal recovery was seen even in relatively old teak plantation. In general, tree monocultures are unlikely to

  5. Morphology and fibre-type distribution in the tongue of the Pogona vitticeps lizard (Iguania, Agamidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zghikh, Leïla-Nastasia; Vangysel, Emilie; Nonclercq, Denis; Legrand, Alexandre; Blairon, Bernard; Berri, Cécile; Bordeau, Thierry; Rémy, Christophe; Burtéa, Carmen; Montuelle, Stéphane J; Bels, Vincent

    2014-10-01

    Agamid lizards use tongue prehension for capturing all types of prey. The purpose of this study was to investigate the functional relationship between tongue structure, both surface and musculature, and function during prey capture in Pogona vitticeps. The lack of a detailed description of the distribution of fibre-types in the tongue muscles in some iguanian lizards has hindered the understanding of the functional morphology of the lizard tongue. Three methodological approaches were used to fill this gap. First, morphological analyses were performed (i) on the tongue surface through scanning electron microscopy, and (ii) on the lingual muscle by histological coloration and histochemistry to identify fibre-typing. Secondly, kinematics of prey capture was quantified by using high-speed video recordings to determine the movement capabilities of the tongue. Finally, electromyography (EMG) was used to identify the motor pattern tongue muscles during prey capture. Morphological and functional data were combined to discuss the functional morphology of the tongue in agamid lizards, in relation to their diet. During tongue protraction, M. genioglossus contracts 420 ± 96 ms before tongue-prey contact. Subsequently, Mm. verticalis and hyoglossus contract throughout tongue protraction and retraction. Significant differences are found between the timing of activity of the protractor muscles between omnivorous agamids (Pogona sp., this study) and insectivorous species (Agama sp.), despite similar tongue and jaw kinematics. The data confirm that specialisation toward a diet which includes more vegetal materials is associated with significant changes in tongue morphology and function. Histoenzymology demonstrates that protractor and retractor muscles differ in fibre composition. The proportion of fast glycolytic fibres is significantly higher in the M. hyoglossus (retractor muscle) than in the M. genioglossus (protractor muscle), and this difference is proposed to be associated

  6. Predation on the lizard Polychrus acutirostris (Squamata, Polychrotidae) by the curl-crested jay Cyanocorax cristatellus (Aves, Corvidae) in the Cerrado of Central Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Frederico Gustavo Rodrigues França; Vívian da Silva Braz

    2009-01-01

    Predation on lizards is difficult to observe in nature. Here, we report for the first time an act of predation on the lizard Polychrus acutirostris by the Curl-crested Jay Cyanocorax cristatellus in a Cerrado area of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, central Brazil, thus increasing knowledge of the diet of this bird species.

  7. Predation on the lizard Polychrus acutirostris (Squamata, Polychrotidae by the curl-crested jay Cyanocorax cristatellus (Aves, Corvidae in the Cerrado of Central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico Gustavo Rodrigues França

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Predation on lizards is difficult to observe in nature. Here, we report for the first time an act of predation on the lizard Polychrus acutirostris by the Curl-crested Jay Cyanocorax cristatellus in a Cerrado area of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, central Brazil, thus increasing knowledge of the diet of this bird species.

  8. When the going gets tough: behavioural type-dependent space use in the sleepy lizard changes as the season dries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Orr; Leu, Stephan T; Sih, Andrew; Godfrey, Stephanie S; Bull, C Michael

    2015-11-22

    Understanding space use remains a major challenge for animal ecology, with implications for species interactions, disease spread, and conservation. Behavioural type (BT) may shape the space use of individuals within animal populations. Bolder or more aggressive individuals tend to be more exploratory and disperse further. Yet, to date we have limited knowledge on how space use other than dispersal depends on BT. To address this question we studied BT-dependent space-use patterns of sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa) in southern Australia. We combined high-resolution global positioning system (GPS) tracking of 72 free-ranging lizards with repeated behavioural assays, and with a survey of the spatial distributions of their food and refuge resources. Bayesian generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) showed that lizards responded to the spatial distribution of resources at the neighbourhood scale and to the intensity of space use by other conspecifics (showing apparent conspecific avoidance). BT (especially aggressiveness) affected space use by lizards and their response to ecological and social factors, in a seasonally dependent manner. Many of these effects and interactions were stronger later in the season when food became scarce and environmental conditions got tougher. For example, refuge and food availability became more important later in the season and unaggressive lizards were more responsive to these predictors. These findings highlight a commonly overlooked source of heterogeneity in animal space use and improve our mechanistic understanding of processes leading to behaviourally driven disease dynamics and social structure.

  9. The role of lizards in the ecology of Lyme disease in two endemic zones of the northeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giery, Sean T; Ostfeld, Richard S

    2007-06-01

    We examined the role of lizards in the ecology of Lyme disease in New York and Maryland. We collected data on vector tick infestations, measured lizard "realized" reservoir competence for the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, and estimated lizard population density. These data were incorporated into a model that predicts a host's ability to influence the prevalence of B. burgdorferi in the tick population, a primary risk factor in the epidemiology of Lyme disease. Published data on other northeastern hosts were included in the model to provide a reference for interpreting the importance of lizards as hosts. The model results indicate that 5-lined skinks (Eumeces fasciatus) are dilution hosts, capable of reducing infection prevalence in the tick population by 10.7-51.5 percentage points, whereas eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) are not dilution hosts in the areas studied. Owing to moderate burdens of larval ticks, relatively high population densities, and reservoir incompetence, E. fasciatus may play an important role in the ecology of Lyme disease by reducing vector infection prevalence and associated human risk of infection.

  10. Effects of repeated exposure to malathion on growth, food consumption, and locomotor performance of the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holem, Ryan R. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, SC 29801 (United States); ENTRIX, Inc., Okemos, MI 48864 (United States); Hopkins, William A. [University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, SC 29801 (United States); Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (United States)], E-mail: hopkinsw@vt.edu; Talent, Larry G. [Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States)

    2008-03-15

    Effects of repeated pollutant exposure on growth, locomotor performance, and behavior have rarely been evaluated in reptiles. We administered three doses of malathion (2.0, 20, or 100 mg/kg body weight) to western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) over an 81 day period. Eight and 23% mortality occurred at 20 and 100 mg/kg (p = 0.079) and 85% of lizards in the 100 mg/kg group exhibited clinical symptoms of poisoning. Growth, food consumption, body condition index, and terrestrial locomotor performance were not significantly influenced by malathion. However, arboreal sprint velocity was significantly reduced in lizards receiving 100 mg/kg. Fifty percent of lizards in the 100 mg/kg group also refused to sprint in the arboreal setting (p = 0.085). Based on these results, arboreal locomotor performance was the most sensitive metric of exposure we evaluated. Further study of compounds such as malathion is warranted due to highly variable application rates and exposure scenarios. - Repeated exposure of western fence lizards to malathion caused reduced arboreal performance and some mortality but growth, food consumption, and terrestrial performance were not affected.

  11. Immunolocalization of loricrin in the maturing α-layer of normal and regenerating epidermis of the lizard Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Strasser, Bettina; Eckhart, Leopold

    2015-03-01

    Numerous corneous proteins are produced during the differentiation of the complex lizard epidermis, comprising hard β-layers and softer α-layers. In the present ultrastructural and immunocytochemical study, we have localized a homolog of the mammalian skin barrier protein loricrin in the skin of the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis). We used an antibody specific to the carboxyterminus of loricrin 1, a gene of the epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) of A. carolinensis. Lizard loricrin is present in the maturing α-layer (lacunar cells) of normal scale epidermis and in the accumulating corneocytes of the wound epidermis (lacunar cells) of the regenerating epidermis. The protein appears as a component of the α-layer but not of the β-layer. Lizard loricrin is diffused in the cytoplasm of pre-corneous α-keratinocytes but eventually concentrates in the packing corneous material of the maturing corneocytes of the α-layer (lacunar) in normal epidermis or in the wound epidermis of regenerating epidermis. The protein likely contributes to the composition and pliability of the corneous material but is not specifically accumulated on the corneous cell envelope (marginal layer) that is scarcely differentiated in these cells. The study contributes to the knowledge on the distribution of specific corneous proteins that give rise to the different material properties of α-layers versus β-layers in lizard epidermis.

  12. Patterns of infestation by chigger mites in four diurnal lizard species from a restinga habitat (Jurubatiba of Southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Cunha-Barros

    Full Text Available We studied the parasitism by larvae of the chigger mite Eutrombicula alfreddugesi on the lizard community of Restinga de Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro State, Southeastern Brazil. We investigated the patterns of infestation (prevalence and intensity of chigger mites in four sympatric lizards: Tropidurus torquatus, Mabuya agilis, M. macrorhyncha and Cnemidophorus littoralis. All lizards collected were checked for the presence of mites, which were counted under stereomicroscope. We tested the relationship between intensity of infestation and lizard body size for each species using regression analysis. The prevalences and mean intensities (+ one standard deviation of infestation on each host species were, respectively: 100%; 86.4 + 94.6 in T. torquatus (n = 62; 100%; 20.9 + 9.3 in M. agilis (n = 7; 100%; 11.1 + 13.1 in M. macrorhyncha (n = 12; and 95.2%; 19.1 + 16.8 in C. littoralis (n = 21. Only for C. littoralis did body size significantly affect the intensity of infestation (r = 0.27, p = 0.02. For all lizard species, the body parts where chiggers occurred with the highest intensity were those of skin folds and joint regions.

  13. Pollination and seed dispersal of Melocactus ernestii Vaupel subsp. ernestii (Cactaceae) by lizards: an example of double mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, V G N; Quirino, Z G M; Machado, I C

    2014-03-01

    Recent studies show that the mutualistic role of lizards as pollinators and seed dispersers has been underestimated, with several ecological factors promoting such plant-animal interactions, especially on oceanic islands. Our aim is to provide a quantitative assessment of pollination and seed dispersal mutualisms with lizards in continental xeric habitats. We carried out focal observations of natural populations of Melocactus ernestii (Cactaceae) in the Caatinga, a Brazilian semiarid ecosystem, in order to record the frequency of visits, kind of resource searched and behaviour of visiting animals towards flowers and/or fruits. We made a new record of the lizard Tropidurus semitaeniatus foraging on flowers and fruits of M. ernestii. During the search for nectar, T. semitaeniatus contacted the reproductive structures of the flowers and transported pollen attached to its snout. Nectar production started at 14:00 h, with an average volume of 24.4 μl and an average concentration of solutes of 33%. Approximately 80% of the seeds of M. ernestii found in the faeces of T. semitaeniatus germinated under natural conditions. The roles of T. semitaeniatus as pollinator and seed disperser for M. ernestii show a clear relationship of double mutualism between two endemic species, which may result from the environmental conditions to which both species are subject. Seasonality, low water availability and arthropod supply in the environment, high local lizard densities, continuous nectar production by the flower and fruits with juicy pulp may be influencing the visits and, consequently, pollination and seed dispersal by lizards in this cactus.

  14. Effects of acute low temperature stress on the endocrine reactions of the Qinghai toad-headed lizard

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chunwang LI; Yuan GU; Songhua TANG; Hongxia FANG; Guohua JIANG; Zhigang JIANG

    2011-01-01

    Endocrinological action is generally thought to be a way for animals to respond to stress at low temperatures.To learn the role of hormones in eetotherms inhabiting alpine environments,we studied the effects of acute low temperature exposure on the endocrinological reactions of Qinghai toad-headed lizards in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.We monitored plasma corticosterone and insulin concentration of the lizards under five low temperature treatments.We found no significant difference in plasma corticosterone or insulin in lizards among our five different treatments.For males and females the correlation between plasma corticosterone and insulin concentrations was not significant.In contrast to other studies on reptiles at low altitude,we suggest that due to the alpine environment (low temperature and low oxygen concentration) they inhabit,Qinghai toad-headed lizards respond to experimental cold stress slightly to mobilize energy and live their vivid life.In addition,corticosterone and insulin of Qinghai toad-headed lizards are secreted independently along with low temperature treatments [Current Zoology 57 (6):775-780,2011].

  15. Does climate influence assemblages of anurans and lizards in a coastal area of north-eastern Brazil?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, João Fabrício Mota; Borges-Leite, Maria Juliana; Borges-Nojosa, Diva Maria

    2016-11-01

    Environmental factors influence diverse assemblage features such as species abundances, richness, and nestedness. Amphibians and reptiles play important roles in terrestrial ecosystems, but there is still a lack of information about the assemblages of these animals in many regions. In this study, we aimed to understand how environmental factors influence the anurans and lizards assemblages from São Gonçalo do Amarante, Ceará, Brazil. Herpetofauna samplings were performed monthly in São Gonçalo do Amarante from January 2008 to May 2009, excluding April 2008. We sampled animals (anurans and lizards) using pitfall traps and active searches. The abundance and richness of lizards were positively related to temperature and negatively related to precipitation. Anuran assemblage was not influenced by precipitation, but its abundance was negatively influenced by temperature. Temperature generated a nested pattern in the lizard assemblage, but precipitation did not produce this pattern in anurans. Finally, our results reinforce the importance of environmental factors, mainly temperature, in structuring assemblages of anurans and lizards.

  16. Toxic effects of oral 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene in the Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McFarland, Craig A., E-mail: craig.a.mcfarland@us.army.mi [US Army Public Health Command (Prov), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Quinn, Michael J. [US Army Public Health Command (Prov), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Boyce, John [Biotechnics, LLC, Hillsborough, NC 27278 (United States); LaFiandra, Emily M.; Bazar, Matthew A. [US Army Public Health Command (Prov), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States); Talent, Larry G. [Oklahoma State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States); Johnson, Mark S. [US Army Public Health Command (Prov), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010 (United States)

    2011-02-15

    The compound 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2A-DNT) was evaluated under laboratory conditions in the Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) to assess the potential for reptile toxicity. Oral LD{sub 50} values were 1406 and 1867 mg/kg for male and female lizards, respectively. Based on responses from a 14-day subacute study, a 60-day subchronic experiment followed where lizards were orally dosed at 0, 5, 15, 20, 25, 30 mg/kg-d. At day 60, number of days and survivors, food consumption, and change in body weight were inversely related to dose. Signs of toxicity were characterized by anorexia and generalized cachexia. Significant adverse histopathology was observed in hepatic tissue at {>=}15 mg/kg-d, consistent with hepatocellular transdifferentiation. Based on survival, loss of body weight, diminished food intake, changes in liver, kidney, and testes, and increased blood urea nitrogen, these data suggest a LOAEL of 15 mg/kg-d and a NOAEL of 5 mg/kg-d in S. occidentalis. - Research highlights: Oral LD{sub 50} (mg/kg) values were 1406 for male and 1867 for female lizards. Dose-dependent hepatocellular transdifferentiation was observed at {>=}5 mg/kg-d. Chromaturia in 2A-DNT and the parent TNT suggest biomarkers of exposure and effect. Health effects of metabolites support comprehensive ecological risk assessments. - The Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) is a suitable reptile model for assessing the toxicity of energetic compounds and their metabolites.

  17. Patterns of infestation by chigger mites in four diurnal lizard species from a Restinga habitat (Jurubatiba) of southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha-Barros, M; Van Sluys, M; Vrcibradic, D; Galdino, C A; Hatano, F H; Rocha, C F

    2003-08-01

    We studied the parasitism by larvae of the chigger mite Eutrombicula alfreddugesi on the lizard community of Restinga de Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro State, Southeastern Brazil. We investigated the patterns of infestation (prevalence and intensity) of chigger mites in four sympatric lizards: Tropidurus torquatus, Mabuya agilis, M. macrorhyncha and Cnemidophorus littoralis. All lizards collected were checked for the presence of mites, which were counted under stereomicroscope. We tested the relationship between intensity of infestation and lizard body size for each species using regression analysis. The prevalences and mean intensities (+ one standard deviation) of infestation on each host species were, respectively: 100%; 86.4 + 94.6 in T. torquatus (n = 62); 100%; 20.9 + 9.3 in M. agilis (n = 7); 100%; 11.1 + 13.1 in M. macrorhyncha (n = 12); and 95.2%; 19.1 + 16.8 in C. littoralis (n = 21). Only for C. littoralis did body size significantly affect the intensity of infestation (r = 0.27, p = 0.02). For all lizard species, the body parts where chiggers occurred with the highest intensity were those of skin folds and joint regions.

  18. Celestial orientation with the sun not in view: lizards use a time-compensated sky polarization compass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maoret, Francesco; Beltrami, Giulia; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foà, Augusto

    2014-04-01

    The present investigation was aimed at testing whether the lizard sky polarization compass is time compensated. For this purpose, ruin lizards, Podarcis sicula, were both trained and tested for orientation inside a Morris water maze under clear skies with the sun not in view. During training, lizards showed a striking bimodal orientation along the training axis, demonstrating their capability of determining the symmetry plane of the sky polarization pattern and thus the use of polarization information in orientation. After reaching criteria, lizards were kept 7 days in a 6-h fast clock-shift treatment and then released with the sun not in view. Six-hour clock-shifted lizards showed a bimodal distribution of directional choices, which was oriented perpendicularly to the training axis, as it was expected on the basis of the clock-shift. The results show that the only celestial diurnal compass mechanism that does not need a direct vision of the sun disk (i.e., the sky polarization compass) is a time-compensated compass.

  19. The African Union

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mandrup, Thomas; Mandrup, Bjørn

    2009-01-01

    . Moreover, the ‘African Security Architecture’, of which it is the central component, also includes sub-regional organisations to which responsibility is to be devolved for dealing with armed confl ict and other matters. These so-called Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are, likewise, constantly changing......The African Union (AU) is a young international organisation, founded in 2002, which is still in the process of setting up its various institutions, while constantly having to face up to new challenges, such as civil wars breaking out and military coups being undertaken in its member states......, just as they have very different strengths. Hence, any account of the AU and the RECs can only provide a ‘snapshot’ of the organisation at any given time, one which may soon become outdated. In contrast with regional and sub-regional organisations in the North, those in Africa are facing an additional...

  20. Steps to African Development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    The development of Africa is vital to the world’s sustainable development.However,African countries still face key challenges in achieving the meaningful expansion of their economies.At the High-Level Symposium on China-Africa Investment Cooperation in Xiamen,southeast China’s Fujian Province,held from September 8 to 10,Chen Deming,Minister of Commerce of China,elaborates on these challenges and sees

  1. Human African trypanosomiasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lejon, Veerle; Bentivoglio, Marina; Franco, José Ramon

    2013-01-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is a neglected tropical disease that affects populations in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is caused by infection with the gambiense and rhodesiense subspecies of the extracellular parasite Trypanosoma brucei, and is transmitted to humans by bites of infected tsetse flies. The disease evolves in two stages, the hemolymphatic and meningoencephalitic stages, the latter being defined by central nervous system infection after trypanosomal traversal of the blood-brain barrier. African trypanosomiasis, which leads to severe neuroinflammation, is fatal without treatment, but the available drugs are toxic and complicated to administer. The choice of medication is determined by the infecting parasite subspecies and disease stage. Clinical features include a constellation of nonspecific symptoms and signs with evolving neurological and psychiatric alterations and characteristic sleep-wake disturbances. Because of the clinical profile variability and insidiously progressive central nervous system involvement, disease staging is currently based on cerebrospinal fluid examination, which is usually performed after the finding of trypanosomes in blood or other body fluids. No vaccine being available, control of human African trypanosomiasis relies on diagnosis and treatment of infected patients, assisted by vector control. Better diagnostic tools and safer, easy to use drugs are needed to facilitate elimination of the disease.

  2. Diversity among African pygmies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando V Ramírez Rozzi

    Full Text Available Although dissimilarities in cranial and post-cranial morphology among African pygmies groups have been recognized, comparative studies on skull morphology usually pull all pygmies together assuming that morphological characters are similar among them and different with respect to other populations. The main aim of this study is to compare cranial morphology between African pygmies and non-pygmies populations from Equatorial Africa derived from both the Eastern and the Western regions in order to test if the greatest morphological difference is obtained in the comparison between pygmies and non-pygmies. Thirty three-dimensional (3D landmarks registered with Microscribe in four cranial samples (Western and Eastern pygmies and non-pygmies were obtained. Multivariate analysis (generalized Procrustes analysis, Mahalanobis distances, multivariate regression and complementary dimensions of size were evaluated with ANOVA and post hoc LSD. Results suggest that important cranial shape differentiation does occur between pygmies and non-pygmies but also between Eastern and Western populations and that size changes and allometries do not affect similarly Eastern and Western pygmies. Therefore, our findings raise serious doubt about the fact to consider African pygmies as a homogenous group in studies on skull morphology. Differences in cranial morphology among pygmies would suggest differentiation after divergence. Although not directly related to skull differentiation, the diversity among pygmies would probably suggest that the process responsible for reduced stature occurred after the split of the ancestors of modern Eastern and Western pygmies.

  3. Institution Building for African Regionalism

    OpenAIRE

    Khadiagala, Gilbert M.

    2011-01-01

    Since the 1960s, African states have embraced regional integration as a vital mechanism for political cooperation and for pooling resources to overcome problems of small and fragmented economies. In building meaningful institutions for regionalism, however, Africans have faced the challenges of reconciling the diversities of culture, geography, and politics. As a result, African regional institutions are characterized by multiple and competing mandates and weak institutionalization. This stud...

  4. African Diaspora Associations in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vammen, Ida Marie; Trans, Lars Ove

    2011-01-01

    Since the early 1990s, an increasing number of African migrants have come to Denmark, where they have formed a large number of migrant associations. This chapter presents selected findings from a comprehensive survey of African diaspora associations in Denmark and focuses specifically on their tr......Since the early 1990s, an increasing number of African migrants have come to Denmark, where they have formed a large number of migrant associations. This chapter presents selected findings from a comprehensive survey of African diaspora associations in Denmark and focuses specifically...

  5. Activity patterns and use of microhabitat in lizards of the genus Tropidurus in a urbanized area of Natal, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Pernambuco da Costa

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzed sun exposure, substrate type selected, and various behaviors exhibited by the lizard Tropidurus during thermoregulation. Observation entailed thirty days in an urbanized area of Centro de Biociências/ Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte. Their behavior was recorded using a scan sampling route and an instantaneous record method at three different time intervals (9am to 10am, 12am to 1pm, and 3pm to 4pm. Significant differences were seen with sun exposure (p = 0.027, with most lizards remaining in shadowed areas, where the animals preferentially remained standing (p < 0.001. We were also able to observe more lizards in the following substrates: tile, wall, rocks, and bricks (p < 0.001. In addition, the animals were in these substrates more frequently from 12am to 1pm (p = 0.004.

  6. Restinga lizards (Reptilia: Squamata at the Imbassaí Preserve on the northern coast of Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Couto-Ferreira

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This study presents the diversity of lizard species at the Imbassaí Preserve, located in the Mata de São João municipality, on the northern coast of Bahia region, Brazil, with special attention to the threatened and endemic species. We present the main results on richness and abundance, from a long term monitoring program and especially from the period between November 2008 and June 2010. We applied the visual search method associated with pitfall traps and random encounters, on a 200m linear transect, in four different vegetation habitats. We detected 26 lizard species, distributed in 19 genera of 10 families. The study reveals a high diversity area for lizards, within the restinga ecosystem along the northern coast line, and therefore contributes to the knowledge of the herpetofauna on the northern coast of the Bahia region, as well as to future management and monitoring programs.

  7. Trophic niche and feeding biology of the Italian wall lizard, Podarcis siculus campestris (De Betta, 1857 along western Mediterranean coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco A.L. Zuffi

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Trophic niche of the Italian wall lizard was studied at three different sites in Tuscany (central northern Italy, two along the Mediterranean sea, one inland. Fecal pellet analysis was carried out on 71 pellets (37 of male and 34 of female adult lizards, accounting on the whole for 184 prey items. Coleoptera, Hymenoptera (ants, Araneae and Gastropoda were the most represented taxa (numerical abundance of ca 22, 7, 7, 6% respectively. We found Brillouin diversity index similar in females and in males, with a marked overlap between sexes, but differences in niche overlapping among localities. Diet spectrum was quite different with that found in other central Italy localities, in the Tuscan Archipelago, or in areas where P. siculus has recently introduced. Our study confirms the opportunistic pattern and adaptability of this lizard species, and increases the range of sampled localities within the species’ range.

  8. Survey of the reptilian fauna of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. V. The lizard fauna of Turaif region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed K. Al-Sadoon

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Turaif area located in the Northern border region of Saudi Arabia is one of the most important regions of the Kingdom. This work was proposed to throw light on the diversity of lizard fauna investigated through the collection and subsequent identification of specimens from different localities of Turaif region of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sixteen species of lizards belonging to 5 families (Agamidae, Gekkonidae, Lacertidae, Scincidae and Varanidae were recorded. Lacertidae was the most common family. Three species of lizards namely Acanthodactylus orientalis, Acanthodactylus scutellatus and Acanthodactylus grandis were reported for the first time in the Turaif region of Saudi Arabia. The geographical distribution of the collected species within this province was mapped.

  9. Cytochrome oxidase and ascorbic acid in the normal and regenerating tail of the scincid lizard, Mabuya carinata. A histophysiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, A V; Radhakrishnan, N; Shah, R V

    1975-01-01

    The concentration of ascorbic acid (AA) and the histochemical distribution of this vitamin together with cytochrome oxidase have been investigated in the normal and regenerating tail of the Scincid lizard, Mabuya carinata. An interesting aspect of this investigation is the observation of a total lack of cytochrome oxidase in both the normal and regenerating tail of the lizard, except for the differentiating phase. On the other hand, AA has been found to be present in the normal and regenerating tail with above normal levels during wound healing (twofold) and differentiation (fivefold). In the light of the poor cytochrome oxidase activity, the higher content of AA noted during regeneration has been construed to play a possible role in the respiratory mechanics of the regenerating lizard tail. Further, the importance of AA in cellular metabolism and the wound healing and differentiative processes have also been discussed.

  10. Optimal escape theory predicts escape behaviors beyond flight initiation distance: risk assessment and escape by striped plateau lizards Sceloporus virgatus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    William E.COOPER Jr

    2009-01-01

    Escape theory predicts that flight initiation distance (FID=distance between predator and prey when escape begins) is longer when risk is greater and shorter when escape is more costly. A few tests suggest that escape theory applies to distance fled. Escape models have not addressed stochastic variables, such as probability of fleeing and of entering refuge, but their economic logic might be applicable. Experiments on several risk factors in the lizard Sceloporus virgatus confirmed all predictions for the above escape variables. FID was greater when approach was faster and more direct, for lizards on ground than on trees, for lizards rarely exposed to humans, for the second of two approaches, and when the predator turned toward lizards rather than away. Lizards fled further during rapid and second consecutive approaches. They were more likely to flee when approached directly, when a predator turned toward them, and during second approaches. They were more likely to enter refuge when approached rapidly. A novel finding is that perch height in trees was unrelated to FID because lizards escaped by moving out of sight, then moving up or down unpredictably. These findings add to a growing body of evidence supporting predictions of escape theory for FID and distance fled. They show that two probabilistic aspects of escape are predictable based on relative predation risk levels. Because individuals differ in boldness, the assessed optimal FID and threshold risks for fleeing and entering refuge are exceeded for an increasing proportion of individuals as risk increases[Current Zoology 55(2):123-131,2009].

  11. Effects of Protective Fencing on Birds, Lizards, and Black-Tailed Hares in the Western Mojave Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    BROOKS

    1999-04-01

    / Effects of protective fencing on birds, lizards, black-tailed hares (Lepus californicus), perennial plant cover, and structural diversity of perennial plants were evaluated from spring 1994 through winter 1995 at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area (DTNA), in the Mojave Desert, California. Abundance and species richness of birds were higher inside than outside the DTNA, and effects were larger during breeding than wintering seasons and during a high than a low rainfall year. Ash-throated flycatchers (Myiarchus cinerascens), cactus wrens (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus), LeConte's thrashers (Toxostoma lecontei), loggerhead shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus), sage sparrows (Amphispiza belli), and verdins (Auriparus flaviceps) were more abundant inside than outside the DTNA. Nesting activity was also more frequent inside. Total abundance and species richness of lizards and individual abundances of western whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorous tigris) and desert spiny lizards (Sceloporus magister) were higher inside than outside. In contrast, abundance of black-tailed hares was lower inside. Structural diversity of the perennial plant community did not differ due to protection, but cover was 50% higher in protected areas. Black-tailed hares generally prefer areas of low perennial plant cover, which may explain why they were more abundant outside than inside the DTNA. Habitat structure may not affect bird and lizard communities as much as availability of food at this desert site, and the greater abundance and species richness of vertebrates inside than outside the DTNA may correlate with abundances of seeds and invertebrate prey. KEY WORDS: Birds; Fenced protection; Lepus californicus, Lizards; Mojave Desert; Off-highway vehicles; Protected area management; Sheep grazing

  12. Corticotropin-releasing factor antagonist attenuates stress-induced inhibition of seasonal ovarian recrudescence in the lizard Mabuya carinata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesh, C B; Yajurvedi, H N

    2002-04-01

    Whether administration of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) antagonist alpha-helical CRF(9-41) (hCRF) prevents stress response of the ovary, the oviduct, the adrenals, and the spleen was studied in the lizard Mabuya carinata. Stressors (handling, chasing, and noise) applied randomly, five times a day, for 1 month to lizards during the recrudescence phase of the ovarian cycle caused a significant increase in mean nuclear diameter of the adrenal cortical cells and a significant reduction in mean number of islands of white pulp in the spleen. These results, albeit indirectly, indicated an activation of the adrenal gland and immune suppression. There was a significant decrease in the mean relative weight of the ovary and the oviduct and in the mean number of oocytes and the primordial follicles compared to those of controls. Furthermore, vitellogenic follicles were absent in the ovary of lizards exposed to stressors in contrast to their presence in controls. However, administration of hCRF to the lizards exposed to stressors (stress + hCRF) resulted in vitellogenesis and follicular growth. The mean relative weight of the ovary and the oviduct and the mean number of oocytes and the primordial follicles in stress + hCRF-treated lizards were significantly higher than those in the lizards exposed to stressors, whereas they did not significantly differ from those of controls. The results indicate that hCRF attenuates stress-induced inhibition of ovarian follicular and oviductal development in M. carinata. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report revealing that CRF antagonist can prevent ovarian stress response in lower vertebrates.

  13. Association of Mc1r variants with ecologically relevant phenotypes in the European ocellated lizard, Lacerta lepida

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nunes, V. L.; Miraldo, A.; Beaumont, M. A.;

    2011-01-01

    range of vertebrate taxa, was assessed in European ocellated lizards (Lacerta lepida) to search for associations with melanin-based colour phenotypes. Lacerta lepida subspecies' distribution is associated with the three major bio-climatic regions in the Iberian Peninsula. A nonconserved and derived....... l. iberica. Extensive genotyping of Mc1r along the contact zone between L. l. nevadensis and L. l. lepida revealed low gene flow (only two hybrids detected). The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of previous knowledge about the evolutionary history of ocellated lizards....

  14. The role of vicariance vs. dispersal in shaping genetic patterns in ocellated lizard species in the western Mediterranean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paulo, O. S.; Pinheiro, J.; Miraldo, A.;

    2008-01-01

    in the western Mediterranean as exemplified by the distribution of species and subspecies and genetic variation within the ocellated lizard group. To reassess the role of the MSC, partial sequences of three mitochondrial DNA genes (cytochrome b, 12S and 16S ribosomal RNA) and two nuclear genes (beta......-fibrinogen and C-mos) from species of the ocellated lizard group were analysed. Three alternative hypotheses were tested: that divergence was initiated (i) by post-MSC vicariance as the basin filled, (ii) when separate populations established either side of the strait by pre-MSC overseas dispersal, and (iii...

  15. Seasonal changes in daily metabolic patterns of Tegu lizards (tupinambis merianae) placed in the cold (17 C) and dark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Milsom, William K.; Andrade, Denis V.; Brito, Simone P.;

    2008-01-01

    Oxygen consumption rate was measured continuously in young tegu lizards Tupinambis merianae exposed to 4 d at 25°C followed by 7-10 d at 17°C in constant dark at five different times of the year. Under these conditions, circadian rhythms in the rate of oxygen consumption persisted for anywhere from......). Although this degree of reduction appeared to take longer to invoke when starting from higher metabolic rates, tegu lizards reduced their metabolism to the low rates seen in winter dormancy at all times of the year when given sufficient time in the cold and dark. In the spring and summer, tegus reduced...

  16. The African Diaspora, Civil Society and African Integration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Opoku-Mensah, Paul Yaw

    This paper, a work-in-progress, makes a contribution to the discussions on the appropriate modalities for incorporating the African diaspora in the African integration project.  It argues that the most appropriate entry points for incorporating the African diaspora into the integration project...... might not, necessarily, be in the formal political structures, although this is important. To the contrary, the most effective and sustainable might be within civil society---that is the links between the peoples and organizations of Africa and the diaspora. Using the case of the African academy......-- as an institution of civil society--- the paper outlines a conceptual framework for incorporating the diaspora into the African integration project....

  17. Daily patterns of metabolic rate among New Zealand lizards (Reptilia: Lacertilia: Diplodactylidae and Scincidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, Kelly M; Pledger, Shirley; Thompson, Michael B; Miller, John H; Daugherty, Charles H

    2006-01-01

    In addition to the effects of temperature fluctuations on metabolic rate, entrained endogenous rhythms in metabolism, which are independent of temperature fluctuations, may be important in overall energy metabolism in ectotherms. Daily entrained endogenous rhythms may serve as energy-conserving mechanisms during an animal's active or inactive phase. However, because nocturnal lizards often take advantage of thermal opportunities during the photophase (light), their daily metabolic rhythms may be less pronounced than those of diurnal species. We measured the rate of oxygen consumption (VO(2)) as an index of metabolic rate of eight temperate lizard species (four nocturnal, three diurnal, and one crepuscular/diurnal; n = 7-14) over 24 h at 13 degrees C and in constant darkness to test whether daily patterns (including amplitude, magnitude, and time of peak VO(2)) of metabolic rate in lizards differ with activity period. We also tested for phylogenetic differences in metabolic rate between skinks and geckos. Three daily patterns were evident: 24-h cycle, 12-h cycle, or no daily cycle. The skink Cyclodina aenea has a 12-h crepuscular pattern of oxygen consumption. In four other species, VO(2) increased with, or in anticipation of, the active part of the day, but three species had rhythms offset from their active phase. Although not correlated with activity period or phylogeny, amplitude of VO(2) may be correlated with whether a species is temperate or tropical. In conclusion, the metabolic rate of many species does not always correlate with the recorded activity period. The dichotomy of ecology and physiology may be clarified by more in-depth studies of species behaviors and activity periods.

  18. Lizard tail regeneration: regulation of two distinct cartilage regions by Indian hedgehog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozito, Thomas P; Tuan, Rocky S

    2015-03-15

    Lizards capable of caudal autotomy exhibit the remarkable ability to "drop" and then regenerate their tails. However, the regenerated lizard tail (RLT) is known as an "imperfect replicate" due to several key anatomical differences compared to the original tail. Most striking of these "imperfections" concerns the skeleton; instead of the vertebrae of the original tail, the skeleton of the RLT takes the form of an unsegmented cartilage tube (CT). Here we have performed the first detailed staging of skeletal development of the RLT CT, identifying two distinct mineralization events. CTs isolated from RLTs of various ages were analyzed by micro-computed tomography to characterize mineralization, and to correlate skeletal development with expression of endochondral ossification markers evaluated by histology and immunohistochemistry. During early tail regeneration, shortly after CT formation, the extreme proximal CT in direct contact with the most terminal vertebra of the original tail develops a growth plate-like region that undergoes endochondral ossification. Proximal CT chondrocytes enlarge, express hypertrophic markers, including Indian hedgehog (Ihh), apoptose, and are replaced by bone. During later stages of tail regeneration, the distal CT mineralizes without endochondral ossification. The sub-perichondrium of the distal CT expresses Ihh, and the perichondrium directly calcifies without cartilage growth plate formation. The calcified CT perichondrium also contains a population of stem/progenitor cells that forms new cartilage in response to TGF-β stimulation. Treatment with the Ihh inhibitor cyclopamine inhibited both proximal CT ossification and distal CT calcification. Thus, while the two mineralization events are spatially, temporally, and mechanistically very different, they both involve Ihh. Taken together, these results suggest that Ihh regulates CT mineralization during two distinct stages of lizard tail regeneration.

  19. Community calcification in Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef: A 33 year perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, J.; Schneider, K.; Kline, D. I.; Rivlin, T.; Rivlin, A.; Hamylton, S.; Lazar, B.; Erez, J.; Caldeira, K.

    2014-11-01

    Measurements of community calcification (Gnet) were made during September 2008 and October 2009 on a reef flat in Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, 33 years after the first measurements were made there by the LIMER expedition in 1975. In 2008 and 2009 we measured Gnet = 61 ± 12 and 54 ± 13 mmol CaCO3 m-2·day-1, respectively. These rates are 27-49% lower than those measured during the same season in 1975-76. These rates agree well with those estimated from the measured temperature and degree of aragonite saturation using a reef calcification rate equation developed from observations in a Red Sea coral reef. Community structure surveys across the Lizard Island reef flat during our study using the same methods employed in 1978 showed that live coral coverage had not changed significantly (∼8%). However, it should be noted that the uncertainty in the live coral coverage estimates in this study and in 1978 were fairly large and inherent to this methodology. Using the reef calcification rate equation while assuming that seawater above the reef was at equilibrium with atmospheric PCO2 and given that live coral cover had not changed Gnet should have declined by 30 ± 8% since the LIMER study as indeed observed. We note, however, that the error in estimated Gnet decrease relative to the 1970's could be much larger due to the uncertainties in the coral coverage measurements. Nonetheless, the similarity between the predicted and the measured decrease in Gnet suggests that ocean acidification may be the primary cause for the lower CaCO3 precipitation rate on the Lizard Island reef flat.

  20. Seasonal spermatogenesis in the Mexican endemic oviparous lizard, Sceloporus aeneus (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto Roberto; Villagrán-SantaCruz, Maricela; Rheubert, Justin L; Granados-González, Gisela; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Oviparous species of Sceloporus exhibit either seasonal or continuous spermatogenesis and populations from high-elevation show a seasonal pattern known as spring reproductive activity. We studied the spermatogenic cycle of a high-elevation (2700 m) population of endemic oviparous lizard, Sceloporus aeneus, that resided south of México, D.F. Histological analyses were performed on the testes and reproductive ducts from individual lizards collected monthly. This population of S. aeneus showed a seasonal pattern of spermatogenesis, with 4 successive phases common in other lizards. These include: 1) Quiescence in August, which contained solely spermatogonia and Sertoli cells; 2) Testicular recrudescence (September-January) when testes became active with mitotic spermatogonia, spermatocytes beginning meiosis, and the early stages of spermiogenesis with spermatids; 3) Maximum testicular activity occurred from March to May and is when the largest spermiation events ensued within the germinal epithelia, which were also dominated by spermatids and spermiogenic cells; 4) Testicular regression in June was marked with the number of all germs cells decreasing rapidly and spermatogonia dominated the seminiferous epithelium. February was a transitional month between recrudescence and maximum activity. The highest sperm abundance in the lumina of epididymides was during maximum testicular activity (March-May). Thus, before and after these months fewer spermatozoa were detected within the excurrent ducts as the testis transitions from recrudescence to maximum activity in February and from maximum activity to quiescence in June. Maximum spermatogenic activity corresponds with warmest temperatures at this study site. This pattern known as spring reproductive activity with a fall recrudescence was similar to other oviparous species of genus Sceloporus. PMID:26413407

  1. Prevalence of antibodies against Leptospira sp. in snakes, lizards and turtles in Slovenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Leptospiral infections in poikilothermic (cold blooded) animals have received very little attention and the literature concerning natural infections of these animals is limited. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of leptospiral antibodies in reptiles, imported into Slovenia and intended to be pets in close contact with humans. A total of 297 reptiles (22 snakes, 210 lizards and 65 turtles) were tested for specific antibodies against serovars of Leptospira interrogans sensu stricto using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Live cultures of different serovars were used as antigens. MAT was performed according to standard procedures and the degree of reaction was interpreted by estimating the percentage of agglutinated leptospires. Samples showing titres of ≥ 50 against one or more serovars were considered as positive. Results Antibodies against seven pathogenic serovars of L. interrogans sensu stricto were detected in 46 of 297 reptiles. Among 22 snakes, specific antibodies against pathogenic serovars of three Leptospira species (L. interrogans, L. kirschneri and L. borgpetersenii) at titre levels from 1:50 to 1:400 were detected in 6 snakes. In 31 of 210 lizards, specific antibodies were found in titres from 1:50 to 1:1000 and, finally, among 65 turtles (terrapins and tortoises), 9 had specific antibodies at titre levels between 1:50 and 1:1600. Animals imported from non-EU countries showed significantly higher prevalence (25.0%; 95 confidence interval: 16.7–33.3%) than animals from EU member states (10.4%; confidence interval: 6.1–14.7%). Conclusions Reptiles may be considered as potential reservoirs of L. interrogans sensu stricto. Origin of the animals is a risk factor for presence of leptospiral antibodies, especially in lizards. Special attention should be focused on animals from non-EU member states. PMID:24020619

  2. Heat, safety or solitude? Using habitat selection experiments to identify a lizard's priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downes; Shine

    1998-05-01

    Laboratory experiments with a rock-dwelling nocturnal gecko, Oedura lesueurii, showed that retreat-site selection (and other behaviours) are affected by the interplay between thermal benefits, social advantages and avoidance of predators. Velvet geckos were highly selective in habitat choice: they preferred artificial retreat-sites that mimic the thermal properties of natural rocks in full sun rather than those that mimic rocks in full shade; mature male geckos rarely shared retreat-sites with other adult males; and these lizards strongly avoided retreat-sites covered with the scent of a natural predator (the broadheaded snake, Hoplocephalus bungaroides). After documenting these preferences, we carried out additional trials in which two or more of these factors co-occurred, as is often the case in nature. Social dominance interacted with thermal benefits in determining retreat-site selection, with smaller (subordinate) males forced to use cooler retreat-sites when larger (dominant) males were present. Avoidance of predators was a higher priority than thermoregulation: the lizards would forego a warmer retreat-site with predator scent in favour of a cooler, unscented one. There was also an interplay between social dominance and predator scent: smaller males were forced to use either predator-scented retreat-sites or no retreat-site when larger males were present. General activity levels, and the frequencies of specific behavioural acts, also shifted in response to social and predator-scent cues. Our study emphasizes the complexity of habitat-selection behaviour in these lizards, and clarifies the criteria used in retreat-site selection when (as is commonly the case) the animal must choose between conflicting priorities. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  3. Thermoregulation in the lizard Psammodromus algirus along a 2200-m elevational gradient in Sierra Nevada (Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora-Camacho, Francisco Javier; Reguera, Senda; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2016-05-01

    Achieving optimal body temperature maximizes animal fitness. Since ambient temperature may limit ectotherm thermal performance, it can be constrained in too cold or hot environments. In this sense, elevational gradients encompass contrasting thermal environments. In thermally pauperized elevations, ectotherms may either show adaptations or suboptimal body temperatures. Also, reproductive condition may affect thermal needs. Herein, we examined different thermal ecology and physiology capabilities of the lizard Psammodromus algirus along a 2200-m elevational gradient. We measured field (Tb) and laboratory-preferred (Tpref) body temperatures of lizards with different reproductive conditions, as well as ambient (Ta) and copper-model operative temperature (Te), which we used to determine thermal quality of the habitat (de), accuracy (db), and effectiveness of thermoregulation (de-db) indexes. We detected no Tb trend in elevation, while Ta constrained Tb only at high elevations. Moreover, while Ta decreased more than 7 °C with elevation, Tpref dropped only 0.6 °C, although significantly. Notably, low-elevation lizards faced excess temperature (Te > Tpref). Notably, de was best at middle elevations, followed by high elevations, and poorest at low elevations. Nonetheless, regarding microhabitat, high-elevation de was more suitable in sun-exposed microhabitats, which may increase exposition to predators, and at midday, which may limit daily activity. As for gender, db and de-db were better in females than in males. In conclusion, P. algirus seems capable to face a wide thermal range, which probably contributes to its extensive corology and makes it adaptable to climate changes.

  4. A Call to African Unity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muchie, Mammo

    This month's paper, written by Professor Mammo Muchie, examines the necessity for a pan-African monetary union.  Professor Muchie argues for the "the creation of a unified African strategy and unified approach to dealing with the outside donor world by neutralising the poison of money as honey...

  5. African Conservation Tillage Network Website

    OpenAIRE

    African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT)

    2009-01-01

    Metadata only record Maintained by the African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT), this website provides information on Conservation Agriculture in an African context and gathered by stakeholders (NGOs) native to the continent. Resources on projects, practices, reports, and training courses are provided.

  6. Central African Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-02-01

    Focus in this discussion of the Central African Republic is on: geography; the people; history and political conditions; government; the economy; foreign relations; and relations with the US. The population of the Central African Republic totaled 2.7 million in 1985 with an annual growth rate of 2.8%. The infant mortality rate is 134/1000 with life expectancy at 49 years. The Central African Republic is at almost the precise center of Africa, about 640 km from the nearest ocean. More than 70% of the population live in rural areas. There are more than 80 ethnic groups, each with its own language. The precolonial history of the area was marked by successive waves of migration, of which little is known. These migrations are responsible for the complex ethnic and linguistic patterns today. United with Chad in 1906, it formed the Oubangui-Chari-Chad colony. In 1910, it became 1 of the 4 territories of the Federation of French Equatorial Africa, along with Chad, Congo, and Gabon. After World War II, the French Constitution of 1946 inaugurated the first of a series of reforms that led eventually to complete independence for all French territories in western and equatorial Africa. The nation became an autonomous republic within the newly established French Community on December 1, 1958, and acceded to complete independence as the Central Africa Republic on August 13, 1960. The government is made up of the executive and the judicial branches. The constitution and legislature remain suspended. All executive and legislative powers, as well as judicial oversight, are vested in the chief of state. The Central African Republic is 1 of the world's least developed countries, with an annual per capita income of $310. 85% of the population is engaged in subsistence farming. Diamonds account for nearly 1/3 of export earnings; the industrial sector is limited. The US terminated bilateral assistance programs in 1979, due to the human rights violations of the Bokassa regime, but modest

  7. Booster for African Economy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    China’s investment is fueling African growth SINCE 2000,driven by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation,China’s foreign direct investment(FDI) in Africa has been growing rapidly.In the face of the global financial crisis,which led to global FDI flows falling,China’s investment in Africa has been on a steady, upbeat rise without any interruption.In 2009,China’s direct investment in Africa reached $1.44 billion,of which nonfinancial direct investment soared by 55.4 percent from the previous year.Africa

  8. Nutritional modulation of IGF-1 in relation to growth and body condition in Sceloporus lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Christine A; Jetzt, Amanda E; Cohick, Wendie S; John-Alder, Henry B

    2015-05-15

    Nutrition and energy balance are important regulators of growth and the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor (GH/IGF) axis. However, our understanding of these functions does not extend uniformly to all classes of vertebrates and is mainly limited to controlled laboratory conditions. Lizards can be useful models to improve our understanding of the nutritional regulation of the GH/IGF-1 axis because many species are relatively easy to observe and manipulate both in the laboratory and in the field. In the present study, the effects of variation in food intake on growth, body condition, and hepatic IGF-1 mRNA levels were measured in (1) juveniles of Sceloporus jarrovii maintained on a full or 1/3 ration and (2) hatchlings of Sceloporus undulatus subjected to full or zero ration with or without re-feeding. These parameters plus plasma IGF-1 were measured in a third experiment using adults of S. undulatus subjected to full or zero ration with or without re-feeding. In all experiments, plasma corticosterone was measured as an anticipated indicator of nutritional stress. In S. jarrovii, growth and body condition were reduced but lizards remained in positive energy balance on 1/3 ration, and hepatic IGF-1 mRNA and plasma corticosterone were not affected in comparison to full ration. In S. undulatus, growth, body condition, hepatic IGF-1 mRNA, and plasma IGF-1 were all reduced by zero ration and restored by refeeding. Plasma corticosterone was increased in response to zero ration and restored by full ration in hatchlings but not adults of S. undulatus. These data indicate that lizards conform to the broader vertebrate model in which severe food deprivation and negative energy balance is required to attenuate systemic IGF-1 expression. However, when animals remain in positive energy balance, reduced food intake does not appear to affect systemic IGF-1. Consistent with other studies on lizards, the corticosterone response to reduced food intake is an unreliable indicator

  9. Baseline values of micronuclei and comet assay in the lizard Tupinambis merianae (Teiidae, Squamata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaumburg, Laura G; Poletta, Gisela L; Siroski, Pablo A; Mudry, Marta D

    2012-10-01

    The Micronucleus test (MN) and Comet assay (CA) are currently the most widely used methods that allow the characterization of DNA damage induced by physical and chemical agents in wild species. The continuous expansion of the cultivated areas in Argentina, since the introduction of transgenic crops, mainly soy, in association with the increased use of pesticides, transformed deeply the natural environments where the lizard Tupinambis merianae (tegu lizard) occurs. Despite the fact that reptiles have shown to be excellent bioindicators of environmental contaminants, there is no record of genotoxicity studies in T. merianae. The aim of the present study was to adjust the MN test and CA protocols to be applied in erythrocytes of T. merianae, and determine the baseline values of DNA damage in this species. We used 20 adult lizards (10 males: 10 females) from Estación Zoológica Experimental "Granja La Esmeralda" (Santa Fe, Argentina). Peripheral blood samples were collected from all animals and the MN test and CA applied according to the protocols established for other reptilian species. We test critical parameters of CA protocol (cell density, unwinding and electrophoresis times) using increasing concentrations of H2O2 (10, 25 and 50 μM) as a known genotoxic agent to induce DNA damage. Based on this, we determined the most suitable conditions for the CA in this species: a cell density of 4×10(3) erythrocytes per slide, 10 min of unwinding and 15 min of electrophoresis at 0.90 V/cm approximately. The baseline frequency of micronuclei (BFMN=MN/1000 erythrocytes counted) determined for this species was 0.95±0.27 and the basal damage index (BDI: calculated from 100 comet images classified in arbitrary units)=103.85±0.97. No differences were observed between sexes in the BFMN or BDI (p>0.05), and no relation was found between baseline values and length or weight of the analyzed animals (p>0.05). These results demonstrated the sensitivity of both biomarkers of

  10. Dermatophytosis caused by Trichophyton spp. in a Tenerife Lizard (Gallotia galloti): an immunohistochemical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orós, J; Hernández, J D; Gallardo, J; Lupiola, P; Jensen, H E

    2013-01-01

    Reports of dermatophytosis in reptiles are rare. This report describes the microscopical and immunohistochemical findings in a case of dermatophytosis caused by Trichophyton spp. in a 2-year-old Tenerife lizard (Gallotia galloti) with ulcerative and pustular skin lesions. Microscopically, the lesions were characterized by superficial epidermal pustules containing heterophils with numerous fungal hyphae that stained by periodic acid-Schiff and Grocott's stain. Fungal culture was not performed, but a panel of polyclonal antibodies specific for different fungal genera was applied to tissue sections. These immunohistochemical studies demonstrated reactivity of the hyphae only with antiserum specific for Trichophyton spp.

  11. Development of Lifting and Propulsion Mechanism for Biped Robot Inspired by Basilisk Lizards

    OpenAIRE

    Mingzhou Luo; Xianming Wei; Kai Cao; Tao Mei; Linsen Xu

    2013-01-01

    The lifting and propulsion mechanism of a novel biped robot inspired by the basilisk lizard’s water-walking function has been developed. The movement trajectories of the Watt-I planar linkage are brought out by combining the movement equations of the four-bar mechanism and the coordinate transformation equations, which are used to simulate the foot trajectories of the basilisk lizard, and the lifting and propulsion mechanism of the biped robot walking on water is carried out. The links’ param...

  12. Resurrection of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878 for the Green Crested Lizard (Squamata, Agamidae) of southern Myanmar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zug, George R.; Mulcahy, Daniel G.; Vindum, Jens V.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Recent fieldwork in southern Tanintharyi revealed the presence of a small Green Crested Lizard in the wet evergreen forest. We generated mtDNA sequence data (ND2) that demonstrates that this population’s nearest relative is Bronchocela rayaensis Grismer et al., 2015 of Pulau Langkawi, northwestern Peninsular Malaysia and Phuket Island. Morphologically the Burmese Bronchocela shares many features with Bronchocela rayaensis, which potentially would make this recently described Thai-Malay species a synonym of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878; however, we interpret the genetic and morphological differences to reflect evolutionary divergence and recommend the recognition of both species.

  13. New and previously known species of Oenonidae (Polychaeta: Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanol, Joana; Ruta, Christine

    2015-09-18

    The family Oenonidae consists of Eunicida species with prionognath jaws. Its Australian fauna had been reported to comprise six species belonging to Arabella, Drilonereis, and Oenone. This study provides descriptions for four new species, redescriptions for three species (two previously recorded and a new record, Drilonereis cf. logani) and diagnoses for the genera recorded from Australia. Currently, eleven species of oenonids, distributed in three genera, are known for the Australian coast. On Lizard Island, this family shows low abundance (19 specimens collected) and high richness (seven species). Our results suggest that despite the increasing accumulation of information, the biodiversity of the family is still poorly estimated.

  14. Body temperatures and associated postures of the zebra-tailed lizard, Callisaurus draconoides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muth, A.

    1977-01-01

    Body temperature and associated postures of the zebra-tailed lizard, Callisaurus draconoides, were examined in the field and laboratory. Three distinct postures are described: prostrate, tail-down and elevated. The mean body temperatures of the respective postures in the field were: 33.9, 40.5 and 42.7 C. In the laboratory, heating rates were greatest for the prostrate posture and least for the elevated posture. Body temperatures and heating rates are significantly correlated with posture. These correlations suggest that the postures are associated with behavioral thermoregulation in the field.

  15. Diet of the lizard Mabuya agilis (Sauria; Scincidae) in an insular habitat (Ilha Grande, RJ, Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C F; Vrcibradic, D; Van Sluys, M

    2004-02-01

    We examined the stomach contents of 21 specimens of Mabuya agilis (Sauria; Scincidae) collected during February 2001 at the restinga habitat of Praia do Sul, in Ilha Grande, RJ, Brazil. Diet was composed of various types of small arthropods, with no plant material being eaten. Spiders were the most important items in the diet, followed by orthopterans. Apart from the absence of isopterans, the diet of Mabuya agilis from this insular area was similar to those of other conspecific mainland populations. This suggests that factors such as insularity and the absence of other small sympatric lizards may not have a significant effect on the feeding habits of the Praia do Sul population.

  16. Origin and clonal diversity of the parthenogenetic lizard Aspidoscelis rodecki (Squamata: Teiidae: chromosomal evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norma L. Manríquez-Morán

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the karyotypes of individuals of two different populations of Aspidoscelis rodecki to investigate the origin andchromosomal diversity of this unisexual lizard. The karyotype of A. rodecki has a diploid number of 50 chromosomes, and exhibits a marked structural heteromorphism. The unique arrangement seems to have originated by Todd´s fission after the origin of parthenogenesis(hybridization between A. angusticeps and A. deppii. This pattern was observed in two populations of the species, which is endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula.

  17. Resurrection of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878 for the Green Crested Lizard (Squamata, Agamidae of southern Myanmar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George R. Zug

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent fieldwork in southern Tanintharyi revealed the presence of a small Green Crested Lizard in the wet evergreen forest. We generated mtDNA sequence data (ND2 that demonstrates that this population’s nearest relative is Bronchocela rayaensis Grismer et al., 2015 of Pulau Langkawi, northwestern Peninsular Malaysia and Phuket Island. Morphologically the Burmese Bronchocela shares many features with B. rayaensis, which potentially would make this recently described Thai-Malay species a synonym of Bronchocela burmana Blanford, 1878; however, we interpret the genetic and morphological differences to reflect evolutionary divergence and recommend the recognition of both species.

  18. Understanding the Rise of African Business

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jorem, Kaja Tvedten; Jeppesen, Søren; Hansen, Michael W.

    In light of recent enthusiasm over the African private sector, this paper reviews the existing empirical literature on successful African enterprises and proposes an analytical framework for understanding African firm success. Overall, it is argued that we need to develop an understanding...... of African firm strategy and performance that takes into account the specificities of the African business environment and African firm capabilities. The paper starts by juxtaposing the widespread pessimistic view of African business with more recent, optimistic studies on African firms’ performance....... The latter suggests that profound improvements in African business performance are indeed under way: with the private sector playing a more important role as an engine of growth, with the rise of a capable African entrepreneurial class, and with the emergence of dynamic and competitive African enterprises...

  19. Anaplasmataceae and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the sand lizard Lacerta agilis and co-infection of these bacteria in hosted Ixodes ricinus ticks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekner Anna

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anaplasmataceae and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. are important tick-borne bacteria maintained in nature by transmission between ticks and vertebrate hosts. However, the potential role of lizards as hosts has not been sufficiently studied. Results The current study showed that 23 of 171 examined sand lizards Lacerta agilis were PCR positive for Anaplasmataceae. The nucleotide sequences of the several selected PCR products showed 100% homology with Anaplasma spp. found in Ixodes ricinus collected in Tunisia and Morocco (AY672415 - AY672420. 1.2% of lizard collar scale samples were PCR positive for B. lusitaniae. In addition, 12 of 290 examined I. ricinus were PCR positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. and 82 were PCR positive for Anaplasmatacea. The number of ticks per lizard and the number of ticks PCR positive for both microorganisms per lizard were strongly correlated. Moreover, we found a significant correlation between numbers of ticks infected with Anaplasmataceae and with B. burgdorferi s.l. living on the same lizard. However, there was no significant correlation between detection of both bacteria in the same tick. Conclusions To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Anaplasmataceae DNA and additionally the second report of B. burgdorferi s.l DNA detection in the sand lizard.

  20. The history of African trypanosomiasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steverding Dietmar

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The prehistory of African trypanosomiasis indicates that the disease may have been an important selective factor in the evolution of hominids. Ancient history and medieval history reveal that African trypanosomiasis affected the lives of people living in sub-Saharan African at all times. Modern history of African trypanosomiasis revolves around the identification of the causative agents and the mode of transmission of the infection, and the development of drugs for treatment and methods for control of the disease. From the recent history of sleeping sickness we can learn that the disease can be controlled but probably not be eradicated. Current history of human African trypanosomiasis has shown that the production of anti-sleeping sickness drugs is not always guaranteed, and therefore, new, better and cheaper drugs are urgently required.

  1. Molecular detection, identification and phylogenetic inference of Leishmania spp. in some desert lizards from Northwest China by using internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jun-Rong; Guo, Xian-Guang; Liu, Jin-Long; Zhou, Tian-He; Gong, Xiong; Chen, Da-Li; Chen, Jian-Ping

    2016-10-01

    Leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania is still endemic in Northwest China. It has been thought that reptiles could be a reservoir for mammalian leishmaniasis. However, data are still scarce on natural infection of lizards with Leishmania spp. in China. The present study deals with detection, identification and phylogenetic inference of Leishmania parasites at species and intraspecies levels isolated from six desert lizard species from 10 geographical locations in Northwest China using amplification and sequencing of ITS-rDNA. In total, 83 haplotypes were found among 137 ITS1 sequences obtained from up to 64.6% of all captured lizards. Representative sequences of Leishmania available in GenBank were compiled for comparison with the obtained haplotypes. Tree-based species delimitation was achieved by using Bayesian phylogenitc analyses and maximum parsimony approach. Phylogenetic trees congruently supported that the haplotypes were found to belong to three Leishmania species including L. (sauroleishmania) sp., Leishmania tropica and Leishmania donovani complex. A network approach revealed paraphyletic populations of L. (sauroleishmania) sp. and L. tropica at intraspecies level regarding geographical origin and low host specificity. Chinese L. tropica from lizards showed significant heterogeneity as the obtained haplotypes were distributed in different clusters from other countries. Common ancestry was observed between some sequences of L. tropica from lizards and other sequence types from clinical samples from other countries. This may lend support to the potential reservoir role of lizards for human leishmaniasis. Our results appear to be the first molecular evidence for natural infection of lizards in Northwest China with reptilian Leishmania and mammalian Leishmania species. Desert lizards may be considered as putative reservoir hosts for Leishmania in China. Further studies on persistence of the Leishmania parasites in lizards and sandflies are recommended for the

  2. Analysis of a herpetofaunal community from an altered marshy area in Sicily; with special remarks on habitat use (niche breadth and overlap), relative abundance of lizards and snakes, and the correlation between predator abundance and tail loss in lizards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luiselli, L.; Angelici, F.M.; Di Vittorio, M.; Spinnato, A.; Politano, E.

    2005-01-01

    A field survey was conducted in a highly degraded barren environment in Sicily in order to investigate herpetofaunal community composition and structure, habitat use (niche breadth and overlap) and relative abundance of a snake predator and two species of lizard prey. The site was chosen because it

  3. East African ROAD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tekle, Kelali

    2016-10-01

    In the developing world astronomy had been treated as the science of elites. As a result of this overwhelming perception, astronomy compared with other applied sciences has got less attention and its role in development has been insignificant. However, the IAU General Assembly decision in 2009 opened new opportunity for countries and professionals to deeply look into Astronomy and its role in development. Then, the subsequent establishment of regional offices in the developing world is helping countries to integrate astronomy with other earth and space based sciences so as to progressively promote its scientific and development importance. Gradually nations have come to know that space is the frontier of tomorrow and the urgency of preeminence on space frontier starts at primary school and ascends to tertiary education. For this to happen, member nations in east African region have placed STEM education at the center of their education system. For instance, Ethiopian has changed University enrollment strategy to be in favor of science and engineering subjects, i.e. every year seventy percent of new University entrants join science and engineering fields while thirty percent social science and humanities. Such bold actions truly promote astronomy to be conceived as gateway to science and technology. To promote the concept of astronomy for development the East African regional office has actually aligned it activities to be in line with the focus areas identified by the IAU strategy (2010 to 2020).

  4. Bioenergy and African transformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynd, Lee R; Sow, Mariam; Chimphango, Annie Fa; Cortez, Luis Ab; Brito Cruz, Carlos H; Elmissiry, Mosad; Laser, Mark; Mayaki, Ibrahim A; Moraes, Marcia Afd; Nogueira, Luiz Ah; Wolfaardt, Gideon M; Woods, Jeremy; van Zyl, Willem H

    2015-01-01

    Among the world's continents, Africa has the highest incidence of food insecurity and poverty and the highest rates of population growth. Yet Africa also has the most arable land, the lowest crop yields, and by far the most plentiful land resources relative to energy demand. It is thus of interest to examine the potential of expanded modern bioenergy production in Africa. Here we consider bioenergy as an enabler for development, and provide an overview of modern bioenergy technologies with a comment on application in an Africa context. Experience with bioenergy in Africa offers evidence of social benefits and also some important lessons. In Brazil, social development, agricultural development and food security, and bioenergy development have been synergistic rather than antagonistic. Realizing similar success in African countries will require clear vision, good governance, and adaptation of technologies, knowledge, and business models to myriad local circumstances. Strategies for integrated production of food crops, livestock, and bioenergy are potentially attractive and offer an alternative to an agricultural model featuring specialized land use. If done thoughtfully, there is considerable evidence that food security and economic development in Africa can be addressed more effectively with modern bioenergy than without it. Modern bioenergy can be an agent of African transformation, with potential social benefits accruing to multiple sectors and extending well beyond energy supply per se. Potential negative impacts also cut across sectors. Thus, institutionally inclusive multi-sector legislative structures will be more effective at maximizing the social benefits of bioenergy compared to institutionally exclusive, single-sector structures.

  5. New host and distributional records for Cryptosporidium sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) from lizards (Sauria: Gekkonidae, Scincidae) from the Cook Islands and Vanuatu, South Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAllister, Chris T.; Duszynski, Donald W.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Between 1991 and 1993, 295 lizards, comprising 21 species in 2 families (Gekkonidae, Scincidae) from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau, Takapoto, and Vanuatu in the South Pacific, were examined for Cryptosporidium oocysts. Only 6 lizards (2%) were found to be passing Cryptosporidium oocysts in their feces, including 2 of 30 (7%) Oceania geckos, Gehyra oceanica, from Rarotonga, Cook Islands, and 4 of 26 (15%) Pacific blue-tailed skinks, Emoia caeruleocauda, from Efate Island, Vanuatu. This represents the largest survey for Cryptosporidium in Pacific island lizards, and we document 2 new host and 2 new locality records for this parasite genus.

  6. Predation on the lizard Polychrus acutirostris (Squamata, Polychrotidae) by the curl-crested jay Cyanocorax cristatellus (Aves, Corvidae) in the Cerrado of Central Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    França, Frederico Gustavo Rodrigues; Braz, Vívian da Silva

    2009-01-01

    Predation on lizards is difficult to observe in nature. Here, we report for the first time an act of predation on the lizard Polychrus acutirostris by the Curl-crested Jay Cyanocorax cristatellus in a Cerrado area of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, central Brazil, thus increasing knowledge of the diet of this bird species. http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2009v22n3p243Predation on lizards is difficult to observe in nature. Here, we report for the first time an act of predation ...

  7. 2002 Sino-African SHP Training Workshop

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    The 2002 Sino-African SHP Training Workshop was held from 10 May to 18 June 2002 at Hangzhou Regional Center for Small Hydro Power(HRC). Attended altogether 9 participants from 5 African countries, i.e. Burundi, Nigeria, South African, Tanzania and Tunisia. This is the second training workshop on SHP that HRC conducted for African countries.

  8. Patterns of infestation by the trombiculid mite Eutrombicula alfreddugesi in four sympatric lizard species (genus Tropidurus in northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocha C.F.D.

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available We studied the parasitism by the chigger mite Eutrombicula alfreddugesi on four sympatric lizard species of the genus Tropidurus in Morro do Chapéu, Bahia state, Brazil: T. hispidus, T. cocorobensis, T. semitaeniatus and T. erythrocephalus. For each species, we investigated the patterns of infestation and analyzed to which extent they varied among the hosts. We calculated the spatial niche breadth of the chigger mite on the body of each host species and the distribution of mites along the hosts’ bodies for each Tropidurus species. All four species of Tropidurus at Morro do Chapéu were parasited by the chigger mite, with high (97-100% prevalences. Host body size significantly explained the intensity of mite infestation for all species, except T. erythrocephalus. The body regions with highest intensity of infestation in the four lizard species were the mite pockets. The spacial niche width of the chigger varied consistently among the four lizards species studied being highest for T. erytrocephalus and lowest for T. cocorobensis. We conclude that the distribution and intensity with which lizards of the genus Tropidurus are infested by Eutrombicula alfreddugesi larvae results from the interaction between aspects of host morphology (such as body size and the occurrence and distribution of mite pockets and ecology (especially microhabitat use.

  9. A developmental staging series for the lizard genus Anolis: a new system for the integration of evolution, development, and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanger, Thomas J; Losos, Jonathan B; Gibson-Brown, Jeremy J

    2008-02-01

    Vertebrate developmental biologists typically rely on a limited number of model organisms to understand the evolutionary bases of morphological change. Unfortunately, a typical model system for squamates (lizards and snakes) has not yet been developed leaving many fundamental questions about morphological evolution unaddressed. New model systems would ideally include clades, rather than single species, that are amenable to both laboratory studies of development and field-based analyses of ecology and evolution. Combining an understanding of development with an understanding of ecology and evolution within and between closely related species has the potential to create a seamless understanding of how genetic variation underlies ecologically and evolutionarily relevant variation within populations and between species. Here we briefly introduce a new model system for the integration of development, evolution, and ecology, the lizard genus Anolis, a diverse group of lizards whose ecology and evolution is well understood, and whose genome has recently been sequenced. We present a developmental staging series for Anolis lizards that can act as a baseline for later comparative and experimental studies within this genus.

  10. Gut microbial ecology of lizards: insights into diversity in the wild, effects of captivity, variation across gut regions and transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Brun, Antonio; Magallanes, Melisa; Brinkerhoff, Joshua; Laspiur, Alejandro; Acosta, Juan Carlos; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Bordenstein, Seth R

    2017-02-01

    Animals maintain complex associations with a diverse microbiota living in their guts. Our understanding of the ecology of these associations is extremely limited in reptiles. Here, we report an in-depth study into the microbial ecology of gut communities in three syntopic and viviparous lizard species (two omnivores: Liolaemus parvus and Liolaemus ruibali and an herbivore: Phymaturus williamsi). Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing to inventory various bacterial communities, we elucidate four major findings: (i) closely related lizard species harbour distinct gut bacterial microbiota that remain distinguishable in captivity; a considerable portion of gut bacterial diversity (39.1%) in nature overlap with that found on plant material, (ii) captivity changes bacterial community composition, although host-specific communities are retained, (iii) faecal samples are largely representative of the hindgut bacterial community and thus represent acceptable sources for nondestructive sampling, and (iv) lizards born in captivity and separated from their mothers within 24 h shared 34.3% of their gut bacterial diversity with their mothers, suggestive of maternal or environmental transmission. Each of these findings represents the first time such a topic has been investigated in lizard hosts. Taken together, our findings provide a foundation for comparative analyses of the faecal and gastrointestinal microbiota of reptile hosts.

  11. Influence of gaze and directness of approach on the escape responses of the Indian rock lizard, Psammophilus dorsalis (Gray, 1831)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Rachakonda Sreekar; Suhel Quader

    2013-12-01

    Animals often evaluate the degree of risk posed by a predator and respond accordingly. Since many predators orient their eyes towards prey while attacking, predator gaze and directness of approach could serve as conspicuous indicators of risk to prey. The ability to perceive these cues and discriminate between high and low predation risk should benefit prey species through both higher survival and decreased energy expenditure. We experimentally examined whether Indian rock lizards (Psammophilus dorsalis) can perceive these two indicators of predation risk by measuring the variation in their fleeing behaviour in response to type of gaze and approach by a human predator. Overall, we found that the gaze and approach of the predator influenced flight initiation distance, which also varied with attributes of the prey (i.e. size/sex and tail-raise behaviour). Flight initiation distance (FID) was 43% longer during direct approaches with direct gaze compared with tangential approaches with averted gaze. In further, exploratory, analyses, we found that FID was 23% shorter for adult male lizards than for female or young male (FYM) lizards. In addition, FYM lizards that showed a tail-raise display during approach had a 71% longer FID than those that did not. Our results suggest that multiple factors influence the decision to flee in animals. Further studies are needed to test the generality of these factors and to investigate the proximate mechanisms underlying flight decisions.

  12. Transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in the lizard Anolis carolinensis reveals activation of conserved vertebrate developmental and repair mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchins, Elizabeth D; Markov, Glenn J; Eckalbar, Walter L; George, Rajani M; King, Jesse M; Tokuyama, Minami A; Geiger, Lauren A; Emmert, Nataliya; Ammar, Michael J; Allen, April N; Siniard, Ashley L; Corneveaux, Jason J; Fisher, Rebecca E; Wade, Juli; DeNardo, Dale F; Rawls, J Alan; Huentelman, Matthew J; Wilson-Rawls, Jeanne; Kusumi, Kenro

    2014-01-01

    Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies.

  13. Geographical variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism in an Australian lizard, Boulenger's Skink (Morethia boulengeri).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, Damian R; Banks, Sam C; Piggott, Maxine P; Cunningham, Ross B; Crane, Mason; MacGregor, Christopher; McBurney, Lachlan; Lindenmayer, David B

    2014-01-01

    Ecogeographical rules help explain spatial and temporal patterns in intraspecific body size. However, many of these rules, when applied to ectothermic organisms such as reptiles, are controversial and require further investigation. To explore factors that influence body size in reptiles, we performed a heuristic study to examine body size variation in an Australian lizard, Boulenger's Skink Morethia boulengeri from agricultural landscapes in southern New South Wales, south-eastern Australia. We collected tissue and morphological data on 337 adult lizards across a broad elevation and climate gradient. We used a model-selection procedure to determine if environmental or ecological variables best explained body size variation. We explored the relationship between morphology and phylogenetic structure before modeling candidate variables from four broad domains: (1) geography (latitude, longitude and elevation), (2) climate (temperature and rainfall), (3) habitat (vegetation type, number of logs and ground cover attributes), and (4) management (land use and grazing history). Broad phylogenetic structure was evident, but on a scale larger than our study area. Lizards were sexually dimorphic, whereby females had longer snout-vent length than males, providing support for the fecundity selection hypothesis. Body size variation in M. boulengeri was correlated with temperature and rainfall, a pattern consistent with larger individuals occupying cooler and more productive parts of the landscape. Climate change forecasts, which predict warmer temperature and increased aridity, may result in reduced lizard biomass and decoupling of trophic interactions with potential implications for community organization and ecosystem function.

  14. Spot the difference: Solving the puzzle of hidden pictures in the lizard genome for identification of regeneration factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Jin Woong

    2016-05-01

    All living things share some common life processes, such as growth and reproduction, and have the ability to respond to their environment. However, each type of organism has its own specialized way of managing biological events. Genetic sequences determine phenotypic and physiological traits. Based on genetic information, comparative genomics has been used to delineate the differences and similarities between various genomes, and significant progress has been made in understanding regenerative biology by comparing the genomes of a variety of lower animal models of regeneration, such as planaria, zebra fish, and newts. However, the genome of lizards has been relatively ignored until recently, even though lizards have been studied as an excellent amniote model of tissue regeneration. Very recently, whole genome sequences of lizards have been uncovered, and several attempts have been made to find regeneration factors based on genetic information. In this article, recent advances in comparative analysis of the lizard genome are introduced, and their biological implications and putative applications for regenerative medicine and stem cell biology are discussed. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(5): 249-254].

  15. Reproductive mode evolution in lizards revisited: updated analyses examining geographic, climatic and phylogenetic effects support the cold-climate hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, C M; Makowsky, R; Bagley, J C

    2014-12-01

    Viviparity, the bearing of live young, has evolved well over 100 times among squamate reptiles. This reproductive strategy is hypothesized to allow maternal control of the foetus' thermal environment and thereby to increase the fitness of the parents and offspring. Two hypotheses have been posited to explain this phenomenon: (i) the cold-climate hypothesis (CCH), which advocates low temperatures as the primary selective force; and (ii) the maternal manipulation hypothesis (MMH), which advocates temperature variability as the primary selective force. Here, we investigate whether climatic and geographic variables associated with the CCH vs. the MMH best explain the current geographical distributions of viviparity in lizards while incorporating recent advances in comparative methods, squamate phylogenetics and geospatial analysis. To do this, we compared nonphylogenetic and phylogenetic models predicting viviparity based on point-of-capture data from 20,994 museum specimens representing 215 lizard species in conjunction with spatially explicit bioclimatic and geographic (elevation and latitude) data layers. The database we analysed emphasized Nearctic lizards from three species-rich genera (Phrynosoma, Plestiodon and Sceloporus); however, we additionally analysed a less substantial, but worldwide sample of species to verify the universality of our Nearctic results. We found that maximum temperature of the warmest month (and, less commonly, elevation and maximum temperature of the driest quarter) was frequently the best predictor of viviparity and showed an association consistent with the CCH. Our results strongly favour the CCH over the MMH in explaining lizard reproductive mode evolution.

  16. New records of Pectinariidae (Polychaeta) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia and the description of two new species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Eunice; Hutchings, Pat

    2015-09-18

    Five species of Pectinariidae have previously been reported from Australia. This study documents the first records of this family from the Lizard Island region: Pectinaria antipoda is recorded, in addition to its already currently wide Australian distribution; two new species, Amphictene lizardensis n. sp. and Pectinaria carnosus n. sp. were also discovered and described. A key to all Australian species of Pectinariidae is provided.

  17. Sphaerodoridae (Annelida) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, including the description of two new species and reproductive notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capa, María; Rouse, Greg W

    2015-09-18

    Sphaerodorids are scarce at Lizard Island archipelago and other localities in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Intensive collections at a variety of habitats within the Lizard Island archipelago over the last four decades have resulted in a total of just 11 specimens. Nevertheless, they represent two new species and a new record for Lizard Island. Sphaerodoropsis aurantica n. sp. is characterised by nine longitudinal rows of sessile and spherical dorsal macrotubercles, arranged in a single transverse row per segment; parapodia with around 10 spherical papillae; and compound chaetae with thin shafts and long blades. Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp. is characterised by more than 12 more or less clearly arranged longitudinal rows of sessile spherical dorsal tubercles (variable in size), in four transverse rows per segment; parapodia lacking papillae; and semi-compound chaetae with distally enlarged shaft and short blades. Ephesiella australiensis is reported for the first time in Lizard Island. Laboratory observations of live specimens of Sphaerodoropsis plurituberculata n. sp., revealed the use of spermatophores by males. These were found attached externally to the body surface of both sexes, indicating pseudo-copulation.

  18. Maternal provision and embryonic uptake of calcium in an oviparous and a placentotrophic viviparous Australian lizard (Lacertilia: Scincidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, James R; Ecay, Tom W; Garland, Courtney P; Fregoso, Santiago P; Price, Elizabeth K; Herbert, Jacquie F; Thompson, Michael B

    2009-06-01

    Embryos of oviparous lizards have two sources of calcium for embryonic development: 1) calcium that accumulates in yolk during vitellogenesis, and 2) calcium carbonate deposited in the eggshell from oviductal secretions. Eggs of viviparous lizards lack a calcified eggshell and calcium secreted by the uterus is delivered to the embryo across a placenta. Whereas oviparous lizard embryos recover calcium from the eggshell during late developmental growth stages, viviparous embryos have a lengthy intimate association with the uterus and the potential for an extended interval of placental calcium transfer. We compared the pattern of calcium mobilization of embryos of the viviparous, placentotrophic scincid lizard, Pseudemoia pagenstecheri, to that of a closely related oviparous species, Saproscincus mustelinus, to determine if the timing of uterine calcium secretion was influenced by reproductive mode. Embryos of both species receive a substantial amount of calcium from either the eggshell or placenta (54% and 85% respectively). The ontogeny of calcium uptake by embryos of P. pagenstecheri reveals that the onset of embryonic acquisition of calcium occurs earlier relative to embryonic stage but the timing of peak uterine secretion of calcium is delayed, compared to S. mustelinus.

  19. Minimal role of eastern fence lizards in Borrelia burgdorferi transmission in central New Jersey oak/pine woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rulison, Eric L.; Kerr, Kaetlyn T; Dyer, Megan C; Han, Seungeun; Burke, Russell L.; Tsao, Jean I.; Ginsberg, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    The Eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus, is widely distributed in eastern and central North America, ranging through areas with high levels of Lyme disease, as well as areas where Lyme disease is rare or absent. We studied the potential role of S. undulatus in transmission dynamics of Lyme spirochetes by sampling ticks from a variety of natural hosts at field sites in central New Jersey, and by testing the reservoir competence of S. undulatus for Borrelia burgdorferi in the laboratory. The infestation rate of ticks on fence lizards was extremely low (proportion infested = 0.087, n = 23) compared to that on white footed mice and other small mammals (proportion infested = 0.53, n = 140). Of 159 nymphs that had fed as larvae on lizards that had previously been exposed to infected nymphs, none was infected with B. burgdorferi, compared with 79.9% of 209 nymphs that had fed as larvae on infected control mice. Simulations suggest that changes in the numbers of fence lizards in a natural habitat would have little effect on the infection rate of nymphal ticks with Lyme spirochetes. We conclude that in central New Jersey S. undulatus plays a minimal role in the enzootic transmission cycle of Lyme spirochetes.

  20. Spot the difference: Solving the puzzle of hidden pictures in the lizard genome for identification of regeneration factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Jin Woong

    2016-01-01

    All living things share some common life processes, such as growth and reproduction, and have the ability to respond to their environment. However, each type of organism has its own specialized way of managing biological events. Genetic sequences determine phenotypic and physiological traits. Based on genetic information, comparative genomics has been used to delineate the differences and similarities between various genomes, and significant progress has been made in understanding regenerative biology by comparing the genomes of a variety of lower animal models of regeneration, such as planaria, zebra fish, and newts. However, the genome of lizards has been relatively ignored until recently, even though lizards have been studied as an excellent amniote model of tissue regeneration. Very recently, whole genome sequences of lizards have been uncovered, and several attempts have been made to find regeneration factors based on genetic information. In this article, recent advances in comparative analysis of the lizard genome are introduced, and their biological implications and putative applications for regenerative medicine and stem cell biology are discussed. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(5): 249-254] PMID:26949021

  1. Recurrent evolution of herbivory in small, cold-climate lizards: breaking the ecophysiological rules of reptilian herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinoza, Robert E; Wiens, John J; Tracy, C Richard

    2004-11-30

    Herbivory has evolved in many groups of vertebrates, but it is rare among both extinct and extant nonavian reptiles. Among squamate reptiles, (lizards, snakes, and their relatives), 7,800 species are considered to be herbivorous, and herbivory is restricted to lizards. Here, we show that within a group of South American lizards (Liolaemidae, approximately 170 species), herbivory has evolved more frequently than in all other squamates combined and at a rate estimated to be >65 times faster. Furthermore, in contrast to other herbivorous lizards and to existing theory, most herbivorous liolaemids are small bodied and live in cool climates. Herbivory is generally thought to evolve only in reptile species that are large bodied, live in warm climates, and maintain high body temperatures. These three well known "rules" of herbivory are considered to form the bases of physiological constraints that explain the paucity of herbivorous reptile species. We suggest that the recurrent and paradoxical evolution of herbivory in liolaemids is explained by a combination of environmental conditions (promoting independent origins of herbivory in isolated cool-climate regions), ecophysiological constraints (requiring small body size in cool climates, yet high body temperatures for herbivores), and phylogenetic history. More generally, our study demonstrates how integrating information from ecophysiology and phylogeny can help to explain macroevolutionary trends.

  2. Transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in the lizard Anolis carolinensis reveals activation of conserved vertebrate developmental and repair mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth D Hutchins

    Full Text Available Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies.

  3. Microgeographical Variations in Coloration of Male Iberian Wall Lizards May Be Related to Habitat and Climatic Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Gabirot

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Intraspecific variations in coloration may represent a compromise between selection for intraspecific communication and selection for thermoregulation and predator avoidance. Iberian wall lizards, Podarcis hispanica, exhibit substantial levels of intraspecific variation that cannot be necessarily attributed to genetic differences. We compared variations in coloration and habitat use of three phenotypically distinct populations of P. hispanica in Central Spain. Results suggested that differences in coloration may be related to habitat characteristics and climatic conditions. Thus, lizards from populations with colder temperatures were darker and larger, which may favor thermoregulation. Lizards that lived in habitats with more vegetation and darker granite rocks showed a dark brown to black dorsal coloration. In contrast, lizards from habitats with gypsum and light sandy soil without vegetation or large rocks had a brighter yellow to green dorsal coloration. These differences may increase crypsis to predators in each habitat. There were also differences in the characteristics and relative importance of sexual visual signals (i.e., ventrolateral coloration and number of lateral blue spots and chemical signals (i.e., number of femoral pores that might increase efficiency of communication in each environment. Natural selection for traits that allow a better thermoregulation, predator avoidance, and communication might lead to population divergence.

  4. Patterns of infestation by the trombiculid mite Eutrombicula alfreddugesi in four sympatric lizard species (genus Tropidurus) in northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C F D; Cunha-Barros, M; Menezes, V A; Fontes, A f; Vrcibradic, D; Van Sluys, M

    2008-06-01

    We studied the parasitism by the chigger mite Eutrombicula alfreddugesi on four sympatric lizard species of the genus Tropidurus in Morro do Chapéu, Bahia state, Brazil: T. hispidus, T. cocorobensis, T. semitaeniatus and T. erythrocephalus. For each species, we investigated the patterns of infestation and analyzed to which extent they varied among the hosts. We calculated the spatial niche breadth of the chigger mite on the body of each host species and the distribution of mites along the hosts' bodies for each Tropidurus species. All four species of Tropidurus at Morro do Chapéu were parasited by the chigger mite, with high (97-100%) prevalences. Host body size significantly explained the intensity of mite infestation for all species, except T. erythrocephalus. The body regions with highest intensity of infestation in the four lizard species were the mite pockets. The spacial niche width of the chigger varied consistently among the four lizards species studied being highest for T. erytrocephalus and lowest for T. cocorobensis. We conclude that the distribution and intensity with which lizards of the genus Tropidurus are infested by Eutrombicula alfreddugesi larvae results from the interaction between aspects of host morphology (such as body size and the occurrence and distribution of mite pockets) and ecology (especially microhabitat use).

  5. Head shape evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus): interactions between extreme size disparity, phylogeny and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Openshaw, G H; Keogh, J S

    2014-02-01

    Characterizing patterns of observed current variation, and testing hypotheses concerning the potential drivers of this variation, is fundamental to understanding how morphology evolves. Phylogenetic history, size and ecology are all central components driving the evolution of morphological variation, but only recently have methods become available to tease these aspects apart for particular body structures. Extant monitor lizards (Varanus) have radiated into an incredible range of habitats and display the largest body size range of any terrestrial vertebrate genus. Although their body morphology remains remarkably conservative, they have obvious head shape variation. We use two-dimensional geometric morphometric techniques to characterize the patterns of dorsal head shape variation in 36 species (375 specimens) of varanid, and test how this variation relates to size, phylogenetic history and ecology as represented by habitat. Interspecific head shape disparity is strongly allometric. Once size effects are removed, principal component analysis shows that most shape variation relates to changes in the snout and head width. Size-corrected head shape variation has strong phylogenetic signal at a broad level, but habitat use is predictive of shape disparity within phylogenetic lineages. Size often explains shape disparity among organisms; however, the ability to separate size and shape variation using geometric morphometrics has enabled the identification of phylogenetic history and habitat as additional key factors contributing to the evolution of head shape disparity among varanid lizards.

  6. Does foraging mode affect metabolic responses to feeding? A study of pygopodid lizards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael WALL, Michael B. THOMPSON, Richard SHINE

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Foraging mode (ambush vs. active profoundly affects many aspects of organismal biology, including metabolic rates and their relationship with food intake. Previous studies on snakes suggest that ambushers tend to have lower standard metabolic rates (SMR and higher energetic costs of digestion and assimilation of prey (specific dynamic action, or SDA than do active foragers. However, phylogenetic considerations may be at least partly responsible for such patterns, as foraging mode is strongly conserved evolutionarily and most SDA studies have focused on species from only two lineages of ambush foragers (pythonid and viperid snakes and one lineage of active foragers (colubrid snakes. We sought to deconfound the effects of phylogeny and foraging mode, investigating SMR and SDA in two closely related pygopodid lizards, the common scaly-foot Pygopus lepidopodus (active forager and Burton’s legless lizard Lialis burtonis (ambush forager. Consistent with the pattern seen in snakes, L. burtonis exhibits a significantly lower SMR and a higher SDA than does P. lepidopodus. The magnitude of SDA in L. burtonis is comparable to that of some pythons and vipers, providing yet more evidence for the remarkable convergence between this species and ambush-foraging snakes [Current Zoology 59 (5: 618–625, 2013]. 

  7. Community ecology and disease risk: lizards, squirrels, and the Lyme disease spirochete in California, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Lane, Robert S

    2010-01-01

    Vector-borne zoonotic diseases are often maintained in complex transmission cycles involving multiple vertebrate hosts and their arthropod vectors. In the state of California, U.S.A., the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease, is transmitted between vertebrate hosts by the western black-legged tick, Ixodes pacificus. Several mammalian species serve as reservoir hosts of the spirochete, but levels of tick infestation, reservoir competence, and Borrelia-infection prevalence vary widely among such hosts. Here, we model the host (lizards, Peromyscus mice, Californian meadow voles, dusky-footed wood rats, and western gray squirrels), vector, and pathogen community of oak woodlands in northwestern California to determine the relative importance of different tick hosts. Observed infection prevalence of B. burgdorferi in host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs was 1.8-5.3%, and our host-community model estimated an infection prevalence of 1.6-2.2%. The western gray squirrel (Sciurus griseus) was the only source of infected nymphs. Lizards, which are refractory to Borrelia infection, are important in feeding subadult ticks but reduce disease risk (nymphal infection prevalence). Species identity is therefore critical in understanding and determining the local disease ecology.

  8. Assessing the influence of geographic distance in parasite communities of an exotic lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezerra, Castiele Holanda; Pinheiro, Luan Tavares; de Melo, Gabriela Cavalcante; Zanchi-Silva, Djan; Queiroz, Murilo de Souza; dos Anjos, Luciano Alves; Harris, David James; Borges-Nojosa, Diva Maria

    2016-01-01

    The decay of similarity between biological communities with increasing geographical distance is a well-established pattern in ecology, but there are more complex factors acting on host population connections that influence this association for parasite communities, such as parasites' colonization ability and degree of connectivity between host populations. Here we aim to determine the helminth communities associated with different populations of the host lizard Hemidactylus mabouia, testing if the similarity of parasite communities decreases as the distance between them increases. For this, we collected samples of lizard populations in seven sites from Northeastern coast of Brazil and identified parasite species of helminths and pentastomids in each host, calculated the Sørensen indices of presence/absence and abundance of each pair of communities and related them to the geographical distance. We did not find a relationship of decaying similarity with increasing distance between the parasite communities of the host populations. This can be explained by factors such as the characteristics of the contact between the host populations, and by modes of transmission of most parasite species. Furthermore, it may be related to the exotic nature of the host in Brazil so that parasite communities have not reached equilibrium.

  9. The lizard fauna of Guam's fringing islets: Island biogeography, phylogenetic history, and conservation implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, G.; Rodda, G.H.; Fritts, T.H.; Sharp, T.R.

    1998-01-01

    We sampled the lizard fauna of twenty-two small islets fringing the Pacific island of Guam and used these data to shed light on the processes responsible for present-day diversity. Habitat diversity, measured by islet area and vegetation complexity, was significantly correlated with the number of species found on an islet. However, islet distance and elevation were not significant predictors of diversity. Distribution patterns were slightly different for the two major families in our sample, Scincidae and Gekkonidae: skinks needed larger islets to maintain a population than did geckos. Presence/absence patterns were highly and significantly nested, and population density was correlated with the number of islets on which a species was found. An area cladogram was poorly supported and showed no faunal similarity between nearby islands. These patterns indicate that extinctions on most islets were due mostly to non-catastrophic, long-acting biological causes. The presence on the islets of species extirpated on Guam and the lack of significant nestedness on islands with greater maximum elevation highlight the impact that predators (primarily brown treesnakes) can have. Our findings also show that small reserves will not suffice to protect endangered lizard faunas, and that the islets may serve as a short-term repository of such species until snake-free areas can be established on Guam.

  10. Parasite load and MHC diversity in undisturbed and agriculturally modified habitats of the ornate dragon lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radwan, Jacek; Kuduk, Katarzyna; Levy, Esther; LeBas, Natasha; Babik, Wiesław

    2014-12-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene polymorphism is thought to be driven by host-parasite co-evolution, but the evidence for an association between the selective pressure from parasites and the number of MHC alleles segregating in a population is scarce and inconsistent. Here, we characterized MHC class I polymorphism in a lizard whose habitat preferences (rock outcrops) lead to the formation of well-defined and stable populations. We investigated the association between the load of ticks, which were used as a proxy for the load of pathogens they transmit, and MHC class I polymorphism across populations in two types of habitat: undisturbed reserves and agricultural land. We hypothesized that the association would be positive across undisturbed reserve populations, but across fragmented agricultural land populations, the relationship would be distorted by the loss of MHC variation due to drift. After controlling for habitat, MHC diversity was not associated with tick number, and the habitats did not differ in this respect. Neither did we detect a difference between habitats in the relationship between MHC and neutral diversity, which was positive across all populations. However, there was extensive variation in the number of MHC alleles per individual, and we found that tick number was positively associated with the average number of alleles carried by lizards across reserve populations, but not across populations from disturbed agricultural land. Our results thus indicate that local differences in selection from parasites may contribute to MHC copy number variation within species, but habitat degradation can distort this relationship.

  11. Expression of Recombinant Human Coagulation Factor VII by the Lizard Leishmania Expression System

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    Sina Mirzaahmadi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The variety of recombinant protein expression systems have been developed as a resource of FVII gene expression. In the current study, the authors used a novel protein expression system based on the Iranian Lizard Leishmania, a trypanosomatid protozoan as a host for expression of FVII. Plasmid containing cDNA encoding full-length human FVII was introduced into Lizard Leishmania and positive transfectants were analyzed by SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis. Furthermore, biological activity of purified protein was detected by PT assay. The recombinant strain harboring a construct was analyzed for expression of FVII at the mRNA and protein level. Purified rFVII was obtained and in order to confirm the purified compound was in fact rFVII. Western blot analysis was carried out. Clotting time in PT assay was reduced about 30 seconds with the purified rFVII. In Conclusion, this study has demonstrated, for the first time, that Leishmania cells can be used as an expression system for producing recombinant FVII.

  12. Direct fitness correlates and thermal consequences of facultative aggregation in a desert lizard.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison R Davis Rabosky

    Full Text Available Social aggregation is a common behavioral phenomenon thought to evolve through adaptive benefits to group living. Comparing fitness differences between aggregated and solitary individuals in nature--necessary to infer an evolutionary benefit to living in groups--has proven difficult because communally-living species tend to be obligately social and behaviorally complex. However, these differences and the mechanisms driving them are critical to understanding how solitary individuals transition to group living, as well as how and why nascent social systems change over time. Here we demonstrate that facultative aggregation in a reptile (the Desert Night Lizard, Xantusia vigilis confers direct reproductive success and survival advantages and that thermal benefits of winter huddling disproportionately benefit small juveniles, which can favor delayed dispersal of offspring and the formation of kin groups. Using climate projection models, however, we estimate that future aggregation in night lizards could decline more than 50% due to warmer temperatures. Our results support the theory that transitions to group living arise from direct benefits to social individuals and offer a clear mechanism for the origin of kin groups through juvenile philopatry. The temperature dependence of aggregation in this and other taxa suggests that environmental variation may be a powerful but underappreciated force in the rapid transition between social and solitary behavior.

  13. Adaptive responses to cool climate promotes persistence of a non-native lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    While, Geoffrey M; Williamson, Joseph; Prescott, Graham; Horváthová, Terézia; Fresnillo, Belén; Beeton, Nicholas J; Halliwell, Ben; Michaelides, Sozos; Uller, Tobias

    2015-03-22

    Successful establishment and range expansion of non-native species often require rapid accommodation of novel environments. Here, we use common-garden experiments to demonstrate parallel adaptive evolutionary response to a cool climate in populations of wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) introduced from southern Europe into England. Low soil temperatures in the introduced range delay hatching, which generates directional selection for a shorter incubation period. Non-native lizards from two separate lineages have responded to this selection by retaining their embryos for longer before oviposition--hence reducing the time needed to complete embryogenesis in the nest--and by an increased developmental rate at low temperatures. This divergence mirrors local adaptation across latitudes and altitudes within widely distributed species and suggests that evolutionary responses to climate can be very rapid. When extrapolated to soil temperatures encountered in nests within the introduced range, embryo retention and faster developmental rate result in one to several weeks earlier emergence compared with the ancestral state. We show that this difference translates into substantial survival benefits for offspring. This should promote short- and long-term persistence of non-native populations, and ultimately enable expansion into areas that would be unattainable with incubation duration representative of the native range.

  14. Conservatism of lizard thermal tolerances and body temperatures across evolutionary history and geography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigg, Joseph W; Buckley, Lauren B

    2013-04-23

    Species may exhibit similar thermal tolerances via either common ancestry or environmental filtering and local adaptation, if the species inhabit similar environments. We ask whether upper and lower thermal limits (critical thermal maxima and minima) and body temperatures are more strongly conserved across evolutionary history or geography for lizard populations distributed globally. We find that critical thermal maxima are highly conserved with location accounting for a higher proportion of the variation than phylogeny. Notably, thermal tolerance breadth is conserved across the phylogeny despite critical thermal minima showing little niche conservatism. Body temperatures observed during activity in the field show the greatest degree of conservatism, with phylogeny accounting for most of the variation. This suggests that propensities for thermoregulatory behaviour, which can buffer body temperatures from environmental variation, are similar within lineages. Phylogeny and geography constrain thermal tolerances similarly within continents, but variably within clades. Conservatism of thermal tolerances across lineages suggests that the potential for local adaptation to alleviate the impacts of climate change on lizards may be limited.

  15. Spermiogenesis in the imbricate alligator lizard, Barisia imbricata (Reptilia, Squamata, Anguidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Rheubert, Justin L; Touzinsky, Katherine; Hanover, Jessica; Matchett, Caroline L; Granados-González, Gisela; Hernández-Gallegos, Oswaldo

    2013-06-01

    Although the events of spermiogenesis are commonly studied in amniotes, the amount of research available for Squamata is lacking. Many studies have described the morphological characteristics of mature spermatozoa in squamates, but few detail the ultrastructural changes that occur during spermiogenesis. This study's purpose is to gain a better understanding of the subcellular events of spermatid development within the Imbricate Alligator Lizard, Barisia imbricata. The morphological data presented here represent the first complete ultrastructural study of spermiogenesis within the family Anguidae. Samples of testes from four specimens collected on the northwest side of the Nevado de Toluca, México, were prepared using standard techniques for transmission electron microscopy. Many of the ultrastructural changes occurring during spermiogenesis within B. imbricata are similar to that of other squamates (i.e., early acrosome formation, chromatin condensation, flagella formation, annulus present, and a prominent manchette). However, there are a few unique characteristics within B. imbricata spermatids that to date have not been described during spermiogenesis in other squamates. For example, penetration of the acrosomal granule into the subacrosomal space to form the basal plate of the perforatorium during round spermatid development, the clover-shaped morphology of the developing nuclear fossa of the flagellum, and the bulbous shape to the perforatorium are all unique to the Imbricate Alligator Lizard. These anatomical character differences may be valuable nontraditional data that along with more traditional matrices (such as DNA sequences and gross morphological data) may help elucidate phylogenetic relationships, which are historically considered controversial within Squamata.

  16. Changes in heart rate are important for thermoregulation in the varanid lizard Varanus varius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seebacher, F; Grigg, G C

    2001-06-01

    Laboratory studies and a single field study have shown that heart rate in some reptiles is faster during heating than during cooling at any given body temperature. This phenomenon, which has been shown to reflect changes in peripheral blood flow, is shown here to occur in the lizard Varanus varius (lace monitor) in the wild. On a typical clear day, lizards emerged from their shelters in the morning to warm in the sun. Following this, animals were active, moving until they again entered a shelter in the evening. During their period of activity, body temperature was 34-36 degrees C in all six study animals (4.0-5.6 kg), but the animals rarely shuttled between sun and shade exposure. Heart rate during the morning heating period was significantly faster than during the evening cooling period. However, the ratio of heating to cooling heart rate decreased with increasing body temperature, being close to 2 at body temperatures of 22-24 degrees C and decreasing to 1.2-1.3 at body temperatures of 34-36 degrees C. There was a significant decrease in thermal time constants with increasing heart rate during heating and cooling confirming that changes in heart rate are linked to rates of heat exchange.

  17. Evolution of viviparity: a phylogenetic test of the cold-climate hypothesis in phrynosomatid lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Shea M; Wiens, John J

    2013-09-01

    The evolution of viviparity is a key life-history transition in vertebrates, but the selective forces favoring its evolution are not fully understood. With >100 origins of viviparity, squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) are ideal for addressing this issue. Some evidence from field and laboratory studies supports the "cold-climate" hypothesis, wherein viviparity provides an advantage in cold environments by allowing mothers to maintain higher temperatures for developing embryos. Surprisingly, the cold-climate hypothesis has not been tested using both climatic data and phylogenetic comparative methods. Here, we investigate the evolution of viviparity in the lizard family Phrynosomatidae using GIS-based environmental data, an extensive phylogeny (117 species), and recently developed comparative methods. We find significant relationships between viviparity and lower temperatures during the warmest (egg-laying) season, strongly supporting the cold-climate hypothesis. Remarkably, we also find that viviparity tends to evolve more frequently at tropical latitudes, despite its association with cooler climates. Our results help explain this and two related patterns that seemingly contradict the cold-climate hypothesis: the presence of viviparous species restricted to low-elevation tropical regions and the paucity of viviparous species at high latitudes. Finally, we examine whether viviparous taxa may be at higher risk of extinction from anthropogenic climate change.

  18. Direct fitness correlates and thermal consequences of facultative aggregation in a desert lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabosky, Alison R Davis; Corl, Ammon; Liwanag, Heather E M; Surget-Groba, Yann; Sinervo, Barry

    2012-01-01

    Social aggregation is a common behavioral phenomenon thought to evolve through adaptive benefits to group living. Comparing fitness differences between aggregated and solitary individuals in nature--necessary to infer an evolutionary benefit to living in groups--has proven difficult because communally-living species tend to be obligately social and behaviorally complex. However, these differences and the mechanisms driving them are critical to understanding how solitary individuals transition to group living, as well as how and why nascent social systems change over time. Here we demonstrate that facultative aggregation in a reptile (the Desert Night Lizard, Xantusia vigilis) confers direct reproductive success and survival advantages and that thermal benefits of winter huddling disproportionately benefit small juveniles, which can favor delayed dispersal of offspring and the formation of kin groups. Using climate projection models, however, we estimate that future aggregation in night lizards could decline more than 50% due to warmer temperatures. Our results support the theory that transitions to group living arise from direct benefits to social individuals and offer a clear mechanism for the origin of kin groups through juvenile philopatry. The temperature dependence of aggregation in this and other taxa suggests that environmental variation may be a powerful but underappreciated force in the rapid transition between social and solitary behavior.

  19. Ultrastructural and immunocytochemical detection of keratins and extracellular matrix proteins in lizard skin cultured in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, Lorenzo; Polazzi, Elisabetta

    2012-04-01

    The present study shows the localization of epidermal and dermal proteins produced in lizard skin cultivated in vitro. Cells from the skin have been cultured for up to one month to detect the expression of keratins, actin, vimentin and extracellular matrix proteins (fibronectin, chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan, elastin and collagen I). Keratinocytes and dermal cells weakly immunoreact for Pan-Cytokeratin but not with the K17-antibody at the beginning of the cell culture when numerous keratin bundles are present in keratinocyte cytoplasm. The dense keratin network disappears after 7-12 days in culture, and K17 becomes detectable in both keratinocytes and mesenchymal cells isolated from the dermis. While most epidermal cells are lost after 2 weeks of in vitro cultivation dermal cells proliferate and form a pellicle of variable thickness made of 3-8 cell layers. The fibroblasts of this dermal equivalent produces an extracellular matrix containing chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan, collagen I, elastic fibers and fibronectin, explaining the attachment of the pellicle to the substratum. The study indicates that after improving keratinocyte survival a skin equivalent for lizard epidermis would be feasible as a useful tool to analyze the influence of the dermis on the process of epidermal differentiation and the control of the shedding cycle in squamates.

  20. Predation Risk Perception, Food Density and Conspecific Cues Shape Foraging Decisions in a Tropical Lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drakeley, Maximilian; Lapiedra, Oriol; Kolbe, Jason J

    2015-01-01

    When foraging, animals can maximize their fitness if they are able to tailor their foraging decisions to current environmental conditions. When making foraging decisions, individuals need to assess the benefits of foraging while accounting for the potential risks of being captured by a predator. However, whether and how different factors interact to shape these decisions is not yet well understood, especially in individual foragers. Here we present a standardized set of manipulative field experiments in the form of foraging assays in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus in Puerto Rico. We presented male lizards with foraging opportunities to test how the presence of conspecifics, predation-risk perception, the abundance of food, and interactions among these factors determines the outcome of foraging decisions. In Experiment 1, anoles foraged faster when food was scarce and other conspecifics were present near the feeding tray, while they took longer to feed when food was abundant and when no conspecifics were present. These results suggest that foraging decisions in anoles are the result of a complex process in which individuals assess predation risk by using information from conspecific individuals while taking into account food abundance. In Experiment 2, a simulated increase in predation risk (i.e., distance to the feeding tray) confirmed the relevance of risk perception by showing that the use of available perches is strongly correlated with the latency to feed. We found Puerto Rican crested anoles integrate instantaneous ecological information about food abundance, conspecific activity and predation risk, and adjust their foraging behavior accordingly.

  1. Inferring responses to climate dynamics from historical demography in neotropical forest lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prates, Ivan; Xue, Alexander T; Brown, Jason L; Alvarado-Serrano, Diego F; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Hickerson, Michael J; Carnaval, Ana C

    2016-07-19

    We apply a comparative framework to test for concerted demographic changes in response to climate shifts in the neotropical lowland forests, learning from the past to inform projections of the future. Using reduced genomic (SNP) data from three lizard species codistributed in Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest (Anolis punctatus, Anolis ortonii, and Polychrus marmoratus), we first reconstruct former population history and test for assemblage-level responses to cycles of moisture transport recently implicated in changes of forest distribution during the Late Quaternary. We find support for population shifts within the time frame of inferred precipitation fluctuations (the last 250,000 y) but detect idiosyncratic responses across species and uniformity of within-species responses across forest regions. These results are incongruent with expectations of concerted population expansion in response to increased rainfall and fail to detect out-of-phase demographic syndromes (expansions vs. contractions) across forest regions. Using reduced genomic data to infer species-specific demographical parameters, we then model the plausible spatial distribution of genetic diversity in the Atlantic Forest into future climates (2080) under a medium carbon emission trajectory. The models forecast very distinct trajectories for the lizard species, reflecting unique estimated population densities and dispersal abilities. Ecological and demographic constraints seemingly lead to distinct and asynchronous responses to climatic regimes in the tropics, even among similarly distributed taxa. Incorporating such constraints is key to improve modeling of the distribution of biodiversity in the past and future.

  2. Light microscopical and ultrastructural studies on the vas deferens of the lizard Mabuya carinata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranha, I; Bhagya, M; Yajurvedi, H N; Sagar, B K Chandrashekar

    2004-01-01

    Adult male lizards (Mabuya carinata) were studied during breeding and non breeding seasons to determine the regional and seasonal differences if any in the vas deferens and to compare ultrastructural features of luminal epithelial cells with those of endotherms. The vas deferens of the lizard is a convoluted tube extending from the epididymis to the hemipenis passing over the kidney. Based on morphometric data of luminal diameter and epithelial cell height three distinct regions viz; proximal, middle and distal regions were identified in the vas deferens. The epithelium is surrounded by a thin layer of lamina propria, many layers of circular smooth muscle fibers and an outer layer of visceral pleuro peritoneum. Based on cell and nuclear morphology and ultrastructure, five different cell types viz; principal cell, basal cell, mitochondria rich cell, halo cell and narrow cell were identified in the epithelium during both breeding and non breeding season. Principal cells and basal cells were more abundant in both seasons. The types of luminal epithelial cells of vas deferens of M. carinata and their ultrastructural features are similar to those of mammals. Further, vas deferens of M. carinata differs from mammals in having only circular smooth muscles in contrast to circular and longitudinal muscles of mammalian vas deferens. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report describing cell types of vas deferens, their ultrastructure and ultrastructural seasonal variations in reptiles.

  3. Population Dynamics Following the Last Glacial Maximum in Two Sympatric Lizards in Northern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yanfu QU; Qun ZHAO; Hongliang LU; Xiang JI

    2014-01-01

    Phylogeographic studies ofEremias lizards (Lacertidae) in East Asia have been limited, and the impact of major climatic events on their population dynamics remains poorly known. This study aimed to investigate population histories and refugia during the Last Glacial Maximum of two sympatricEremias lizards (E. argus andE. brenchleyi) inhabiting northern China. We sequenced partial mitochondrial DNA from theND4 gene for 128 individuals ofE. argus from nine localities, and 46 individuals ofE. brenchleyi from ifve localities. Forty-fourND4 haplotypes were determined fromE. argus samples, and 33 fromE. brenchleyi samples. Population expansion events began about 0.0044 Ma inE. argus, and 0.031 Ma inE. brenchleyi. The demographic history ofE. brenchleyi indicates a long-lasting population decline since the most recent common ancestor, while that ofE. argusindicates a continuous population growth. Among-population structure was signiifcant in both species, and there were multiple refugia across their range. Intermittent gene flow occurred among expanded populations across multiple refugia during warmer phases of the glacial period, and this may explain why the effective population size has remained relatively stable inE. brenchleyi and grown inE. argus.

  4. Distribution, Metabolism and Toxic Effects of Beta-Cypermethrin in Lizards (Eremias argus) Following Oral Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li; Xu, Peng; Diao, Jinling; Di, Shanshan; Li, Ruiting; Zhou, Zhiqiang

    2016-04-01

    Beta-cypermethrin (BCYP), a synthetic pyrethriod (PYR) pesticide which is a mixture of the alpha- and theta- cypermethrin, have been reported various toxicological profiles to non-target organisms. But little is known about assimilation, accumulation and toxic effects of BCYP in reptiles. The present study firstly elucidated absorption, tissue distribution, excretion of BCYP in Eremias argus . Treated group were administered orally with BCYP 20mg/kg body weight (bw) dissolved in corn oil. Neurotoxicity was observed at 24h after gavage, and the poisoning symptom ameliorated at 72h. The changes of BCYP concentration depended on degradation time and tissues. Lizards had a strong capacity to eliminate BCYP with different tissue distribution. The tissues concentration of BCYP from high to low were intestine, stomach, heart, kidney, blood, lung, liver and brain. Bimodal phenomena were observed in lung, liver and kidney. These results may be due to the activities of enzymes, circadian rhythm, and enterohepatic circulation in lizards. Based on the results of organ coefficient and histopathology analysis in liver, the liver was confirmed as the main target organ.

  5. Disrupting evolutionary processes: The effect of habitat fragmentation on collared lizards in the Missouri Ozarks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Templeton, Alan R.; Robertson, Robert J.; Brisson, Jennifer; Strasburg, Jared

    2001-01-01

    Humans affect biodiversity at the genetic, species, community, and ecosystem levels. This impact on genetic diversity is critical, because genetic diversity is the raw material of evolutionary change, including adaptation and speciation. Two forces affecting genetic variation are genetic drift (which decreases genetic variation within but increases genetic differentiation among local populations) and gene flow (which increases variation within but decreases differentiation among local populations). Humans activities often augment drift and diminish gene flow for many species, which reduces genetic variation in local populations and prevents the spread of adaptive complexes outside their population of origin, thereby disrupting adaptive processes both locally and globally within a species. These impacts are illustrated with collared lizards (Crotaphytus collaris) in the Missouri Ozarks. Forest fire suppression has reduced habitat and disrupted gene flow in this lizard, thereby altering the balance toward drift and away from gene flow. This balance can be restored by managed landscape burns. Some have argued that, although human-induced fragmentation disrupts adaptation, it will also ultimately produce new species through founder effects. However, population genetic theory and experiments predict that most fragmentation events caused by human activities will facilitate not speciation, but local extinction. Founder events have played an important role in the macroevolution of certain groups, but only when ecological opportunities are expanding rather than contracting. The general impact of human activities on genetic diversity disrupts or diminishes the capacity for adaptation, speciation, and macroevolutionary change. This impact will ultimately diminish biodiversity at all levels. PMID:11344289

  6. Two new Liolaemus lizards from the Andean highlands of Southern Chile (Squamata, Iguania, Liolaemidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troncoso-Palacios, Jaime; Diaz, Hugo A.; Puas, German I.; Riveros-Riffo, Edvin; Elorza, Alvaro A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Liolaemus is a diverse genus of lizards, subdivided into two subgenera: Liolaemus (sensu stricto) and Eulaemus, distributed mainly in Chile and Argentina. The Liolaemus elongatus-kriegi complex is the most diverse group within Liolaemus (sensu stricto), especially the species closely related to Liolaemus elongatus, which form a clade currently comprising nine species. Several Chilean species of this group have been recently described, mainly from volcanoes and poorly explored mountains. Here molecular and morphological evidence are provided for a new species of the Liolaemus elongatus clade, which is characterized by its small size and lack of dorsal pattern, unusual features for the species of this group of lizards. Additionally, the lack of precloacal pores in males of Liolaemus (sensu stricto) is a trait found in few species, which do not constitute a monophyletic group. A second new southern Chilean species is also described, without precloacal pores and supported by molecular phylogenetics to be related to Liolaemus villaricensis. Both new species were found in the same locality, near a lake located in a pre-Andean zone with Araucaria and Nothofagus forest. The two species are dedicated to prominent Lonkos (tribal chiefs) of the Mapuche and Pehuenche people: Janequeo and Leftraru. Additionally, the phylogenetic results suggest that Liolaemus lonquimayensis is a synonym of Liolaemus elongatus. PMID:27920609

  7. Evaluation of palatability, protein and energi consumtion of adult lizard (Mabouya multifasciata by feed them of with many diet variations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RONI RIDWAN

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Lizard (Mabouya multifasciata, one of natural resources that spreads almost all Indonesian islands. The animals can potentially be used as a source of protein and medicine as well as a pet. The objectives of the research were therefore to investigate the preference of certain kind of diet, measure the protein and energy consumption, and also to observe the weight gain of the lizard. Seventy two lizards consisting of 36 females that each having weight of 29.7 + 2.6 grams and 36 male that having weight of 30.0 + 2.9 grams were used in this study. These lizards were captured from their wild nature around Bogor, Ciamis, Sumedang and Cianjur of West Java. Block experimental design was used, with 4 diet treatments and two grouping based on sex, (male and female. The diets were crickets, mealworm, red ant larva and artificial diet. Each tree lizards was put on 0.30m x 0.30m x 0.50m nets made from glass. Diets were given 3% dry matter of lizard body weight and water has given ad libitum. Parameter measured was dry matter consumption, protein consumption, energy consumption and body weight gain. ANOVA used for the data analysis, followed with Duncan range-test. The result showed that dry matter consumption of crickets, red ant larva and artificial diet was significantly (P<0.01 higher than mealworms. Consumption of crickets crude-protein was significantly (P<0.01 higher than mealworms, red ant larva and artificial diet. Mealworm crude-protein consumption was significantly (P<0.01 lower compared with both red ant larva and artificial diet. Crickets and red ant larva showed higher affect (P<0.01 on body weight gain than artificial diet. However, there were no significant effect of all diet on consumption, brute energy and relatively metabolic energy. Grouping based on sex also did not show any significant affect to all parameters observed. It can be concluded that lizards prefer eating crickets, red ant larva and diet than mealworms.

  8. Differences in Thermal Preference and Tolerance among Three Phrynocephalus Lizards (Agamidae) with Different Body Sizes and Habitat Use

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zheng WANG; Hongliang LU; Li MA; Xiang JI

    2013-01-01

    We acclimated adults of two viviparous (Phrynocephalus guinanensis and P. vlangalii) and one oviparous (P. versicolor) species of toad-headed lizards (Agamidae) to 28 °C, 33 °C and 38 °C to examine whether thermal preference (preferred body temperature, Tp) and thermal tolerance (critical thermal minimum, CTMin;critical thermal maximum, CTMax) were affected by acclimation temperature, and correlate with body size and habitat use. Both Tp and CTMax were highest in P. versicolor and lowest in P. vlangalii, with P. guinanensis in between. The two viviparous species did not differ in CTMin and thermal tolerance range, and they both were more resistant to low temperatures and had a wider range of thermal tolerance than the oviparous species. Both CTMin and CTMax shifted upward as acclimation temperature increased in all the three species. Tp was higher in the lizards acclimated to 33 °C than in those to 28 °C or 38 °C. The range of thermal tolerance was wider in the lizards acclimated to 28 °C than in those to 33 °C or 38 °C. The data showed that:1) thermal preference and tolerance were affected by acclimation temperature, and differed among the three species of Phrynocephalus lizards with different body sizes and habitat uses;2) both Tp and CTMax were higher in the species exchanging heat more rapidly with the environment, and CTMin was higher in the species using warmer habitats during the active season;and 3) thermal preference and tolerance might correlat with body size and habitat use in Phrynocephalus lizards.

  9. Stable isotopes document mainland-island divergence in resource use without concomitant physiological changes in the lizard Liolaemus pictus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Marcela A; Sabat, Pablo

    2010-05-01

    Shifts in feeding ecology are believed to promote island-mainland divergence. The lizard Liolaemus pictus has several different subspecies on Chilean islands and mainland. These subspecies inhabit contrastingly different habitats both in different islands and mainland, which suggests the potential for habitat related dietary variation. We investigated the dietary habits of L. pictus by both stomach content analyses and by nitrogen stable isotope analyses (delta(15)N), which we used as a proxy variable for trophic level. We also compared the morphology of the digestive tract and the activity of intestinal digestive enzymes of mainland and island lizards. We hypothesized differences in diet and trophic level among populations and that these differences would predict the expression of the morphological and biochemical features of the digestive tract. More specifically, we predicted shorter intestines and higher levels of peptidases in more insectivorous than in more frugivorous/herbivorous lizards. The diet of L. pictus was characterized by the consumption of a wide diversity of food types, including fruit and insects, in all populations. Stable isotopes revealed higher trophic level, and hence probably higher protein intake, in mainland than in island populations, but contrary to our prediction, they had shorter intestines and higher relative activity of intestinal peptidases than mainland lizards. Furthermore, the proportion of fruit items in the stomach content was higher in the population that exhibited the lowest tropic level. These results suggest that morphological and physiological differences among populations of L. pictus are not correlated with feeding ecology, suggesting that the lizard's first responses to the selective pressure represented by a diet shift are behavioral.

  10. Surfaces on African sculpture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Mack

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Review of: Leonard Kahan, Donna Page, and Pascal James Imperato (eds in collaboration with Charles Bordogna and Bolaji Campbell with an introduction by Patrick McNaughton, Surfaces: Color, Substances, and Ritual Applications on African Sculpture, Indiana University Press, 2009.The book reviewed here has potential interest to a wide range of readers, whether researchers and academics, museum, curators, conservators or connoisseurs. It examines the perception of surface as an aspect of the indigenous understanding of sculpted objects in sub-Saharan Africa, treating of questions of materials, patination, colouration and use. It includes both survey essays and case studies (on the Bamana of Mali and the Yoriuba of Nigeria in a compendium which has suggestive implications beyond the immediate field of the Africanists to whom it is principally addressed.

  11. Pan-Africanism

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    Raul Diaz Guevara

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available This essaic-article goes against established conventions that there is anything ethno-cultural (and hence national about the so-called African tribes. Drawing largely from the culture history of precolonial/prepolitical Africans—that is, the Bantu/Cushitic-Ethiopians (Azanians—the author has demonstrated vividly that far from being distinct ethno-culture national communities, the so-called tribes of African states are better considered subculture groups, whose regional culture practices erstwhile paid tribute to their nation’s main culture center in Karnak. For example, using the culture symbols and practices of some local groups and linking them to the predynastic and dynastic Pharaonic periods, I argued that there is compelling evidence against qualifying Africa’s tribes as distinct ethno-culture national entities. In genuine culture context, I stressed that the Ritual of Resurrection and its twin culture process of the mummification of deceased indigenous Pharaohs tend to suggest that the object of the Bantu/Cushitic-Ethiopians national culture was life (in its eternal manifestation and then resurrection later, and that there are recurring (culturally sanctioned ethical examples among the culture custodians of these subculture groups that generally pay tribute to the overarching culture norm. Furthermore, the fact that the Ritual of Resurrection began in the Delta region and ended at the Sources of the Nile, where the spirit of the deceased indigenous Pharaohs was introduced into the spiritual world of their ancestors, contradicts conventional perceptions that ancient Egypt was a distinct national community isolated from precolonial/prepolitical Africa/Azania.

  12. Central African Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-11-01

    The Central African Republic contains 242,000 square miles, which rolling terrain almost 2000 feet above sea level. The climate is tropical, and it has a population of 2.8 million people with a 2.5% growth rate. There are more than 80 ethnic groups including Baya 34%, Banda 28%, Sara 10%, Mandja 9%, Mboum 9%, and M'Baka 7%. The religions are traditional African 35%, protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, and Muslim 15%, and the languages are French and Sangho. The infant mortality rate is 143/1000, with expectancy at 49 years and a 40% literacy rate. The work force of 1 million is 70% agricultural, industry 6% and commerce and service 6% and government 3%. The government consists of a president assisted by cabinet ministers and a single party. Natural resources include diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, and oil, and major industries are beverages, textiles, and soap. Agricultural products feature coffee, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, food crops and livestock. Most of the population live in rural areas and most of the 80 ethnic groups have their own language. This is one of the world's least developed countries, with a per capita income of $375/year. The main problems with development are the poor transportation infrastructure, and the weak internal and international marketing systems. The US and various international organizations have aided in agriculture development, health programs, and family planning. US investment is mainly in diamond and gold mining, and although oil drilling has been successful it is not economically feasible at current prices.

  13. African Ethnobotany in the Americas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Egleé L. Zent

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Review of African Ethnobotany in the Americas. Edited by Robert Voeks and John Rashford. 2013. Springer. Pp. 429, 105 illustrations, 69 color illustrations. $49.95 (paperback. ISBN 978‐1461408352.

  14. Additional notes of the characteristics of some modern lizards%部分蜥蜴类牙齿特征补充

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李永项; 薛祥煦; 李晓晨; 刘护军

    2003-01-01

    The characteristics of modern lizard teeth have often been overlooked as an aid to classification. In order to i-dentify isolated teeth or rows of teeth on the jaws of Quaternary lizard fossils, we observed many modern lizard skulls with complete tooth rows, and thereby discovered that there are different patterns of tooth arrangement which are a significant aid to classification and also valuable in distinguishing lizard tooth fragments or isolated teeth. Our observations suggest that lizard teeth can be divided into three major types: 1 ) Homodont, pleurodont with single-cusp. This kind of teeth is usually slender and closely spaced. Teeth number 20 - 30 or more. The smaller-sized lizards, such as Gekkos gecko, G.Japonicus, Eumeces chinensis (Fig. 1 :A, a), E. xanthi, Leiolopisma tsinlingensis (Fig. 1 :B, b), L. reevesii, Ly-gosoma indicum, Platyurus platyurus and Hemidactylus frenatus, have this kind of arrangement. 2) Heterodont, sub-acrodont or pleurodont, with single-conical cusp teeth at the anterior of the tooth row and with flat-conical bicuspid teeth posteriorly. There are about 18 - 19 check teeth. Eremias argus (Fig. 1:C,c), E. multiocellata and E. brenchltyi have this kind of arrangement. 3 ) Heterodont, with single-conical cusp teeth in the anterior part of the tooth row and with tricuspid, subacrodont teeth posteriorly. There are vertical grooves between the teeth on the external side of the low-er jaw. The fourth tooth in most species is canine-like. There are 16 or less check teeth. The larger-sized lizards, such as Phrynocephalus przewalski, P. frontalis (Fig. 1:D,d), Japalura splendida, J. flaviceos (Fig. 1 : E, e), Calotes versicolor and Leioleps belliana etc. possess this kind of arrangement. Evolutionary trends in lizard teeth are briefly dis-cussed.

  15. Oxidant trade-offs in immunity: an experimental test in a lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobler, Michael; Ballen, Cissy; Healey, Mo; Wilson, Mark; Olsson, Mats

    2015-01-01

    Immune system functioning and maintenance entails costs which may limit investment into other processes such as reproduction. Yet, the proximate mechanisms and 'currencies' mediating the costs of immune responses remain elusive. In vertebrates, up-regulation of the innate immune system is associated with rapid phagocytic production of pro-oxidant molecules (so-called 'oxidative burst' responses). Oxidative burst responses are intended to eliminate pathogens but may also constitute an immunopathological risk as they may induce oxidative damage to self cells. To minimize the risk of infection and, at the same time, damage to self, oxidative burst activity must be carefully balanced. The current levels of pro- and antioxidants (i.e. the individual oxidative state) is likely to be a critical factor affecting this balance, but this has not yet been evaluated. Here, we perform an experiment on wild-caught painted dragon lizards (Ctenophorus pictus) to examine how the strength of immune-stimulated oxidative burst responses of phagocytes in whole blood relates to individual oxidative status under control conditions and during an in vivo immune challenge with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Under control conditions, oxidative burst responses were not predicted by the oxidative status of the lizards. LPS-injected individuals showed a strong increase in pro-oxidant levels and a strong decrease in antioxidant levels compared to control individuals demonstrating a shift in the pro-/antioxidant balance. Oxidative burst responses in LPS-injected lizards were positively related to post-challenge extracellular pro-oxidants (reflecting the level of cell activation) and negatively related to pre-challenge levels of mitochondrial superoxide (suggesting an immunoregulatory effect of this pro-oxidant). LPS-challenged males had higher oxidative burst responses than females, and in females oxidative burst responses seemed to depend more strongly on antioxidant status than in

  16. Which came first: The lizard or the egg? Robustness in phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, April M; Lyons, Kathleen M; Brandley, Matthew C; Hillis, David M

    2015-09-01

    Changes in parity mode between egg-laying (oviparity) and live-bearing (viviparity) have occurred repeatedly throughout vertebrate evolution. Oviparity is the ancestral amniote state, and viviparity has evolved many times independently within amniotes (especially in lizards and snakes), with possibly a few reversions to oviparity. In amniotes, the shelled egg is considered a complex structure that is unlikely to re-evolve if lost (i.e., it is an example of Dollo's Principle). However, a recent ancestral state reconstruction analysis concluded that viviparity was the ancestral state of squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes), and that oviparity re-evolved from viviparity many times throughout the evolutionary history of squamates. Here, we re-evaluate support for this provocative conclusion by testing the sensitivity of the analysis to model assumptions and estimates of squamate phylogeny. We found that the models and methods used for parity mode reconstruction are highly sensitive to the specific estimate of phylogeny used, and that the point estimate of phylogeny used to suggest that viviparity is the root state of the squamate tree is far from an optimal phylogenetic solution. The ancestral state reconstructions are also highly sensitive to model choice and specific values of model parameters. A method that is designed to account for biases in taxon sampling actually accentuates, rather than lessens, those biases with respect to ancestral state reconstructions. In contrast to recent conclusions from the same data set, we find that ancestral state reconstruction analyses provide highly equivocal support for the number and direction of transitions between oviparity and viviparity in squamates. Moreover, the reconstructions of ancestral parity state are highly dependent on the assumptions of each model. We conclude that the common ancestor of squamates was oviparous, and subsequent evolutionary transitions to viviparity were common, but reversals to oviparity were

  17. Oxidant trade-offs in immunity: an experimental test in a lizard.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Tobler

    Full Text Available Immune system functioning and maintenance entails costs which may limit investment into other processes such as reproduction. Yet, the proximate mechanisms and 'currencies' mediating the costs of immune responses remain elusive. In vertebrates, up-regulation of the innate immune system is associated with rapid phagocytic production of pro-oxidant molecules (so-called 'oxidative burst' responses. Oxidative burst responses are intended to eliminate pathogens but may also constitute an immunopathological risk as they may induce oxidative damage to self cells. To minimize the risk of infection and, at the same time, damage to self, oxidative burst activity must be carefully balanced. The current levels of pro- and antioxidants (i.e. the individual oxidative state is likely to be a critical factor affecting this balance, but this has not yet been evaluated. Here, we perform an experiment on wild-caught painted dragon lizards (Ctenophorus pictus to examine how the strength of immune-stimulated oxidative burst responses of phagocytes in whole blood relates to individual oxidative status under control conditions and during an in vivo immune challenge with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS. Under control conditions, oxidative burst responses were not predicted by the oxidative status of the lizards. LPS-injected individuals showed a strong increase in pro-oxidant levels and a strong decrease in antioxidant levels compared to control individuals demonstrating a shift in the pro-/antioxidant balance. Oxidative burst responses in LPS-injected lizards were positively related to post-challenge extracellular pro-oxidants (reflecting the level of cell activation and negatively related to pre-challenge levels of mitochondrial superoxide (suggesting an immunoregulatory effect of this pro-oxidant. LPS-challenged males had higher oxidative burst responses than females, and in females oxidative burst responses seemed to depend more strongly on antioxidant

  18. Metabolic characteristics and response to high altitude in Phrynocephalus erythrurus (Lacertilia: Agamidae), a lizard dwell at altitudes higher than any other living lizards in the world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Xiaolong; Xin, Ying; Wang, Huihui; Li, Weixin; Zhang, Yang; Liang, Shiwei; He, Jianzheng; Wang, Ningbo; Ma, Ming; Chen, Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Metabolic response to high altitude remains poorly explored in reptiles. In the present study, the metabolic characteristics of Phrynocephaluserythrurus (Lacertilia: Agamidae), which inhabits high altitudes (4500 m) and Phrynocephalusprzewalskii (Lacertilia: Agamidae), which inhabits low altitudes, were analysed to explore the metabolic regulatory strategies for lizards living at high-altitude environments. The results indicated that the mitochondrial respiratory rates of P. erythrurus were significantly lower than those of P. przewalskii, and that proton leak accounts for 74~79% of state 4 and 7~8% of state3 in P. erythrurus vs. 43~48% of state 4 and 24~26% of state3 in P. przewalskii. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity in P. erythrurus was lower than in P. przewalskii, indicating that at high altitude the former does not, relatively, have a greater reliance on anaerobic metabolism. A higher activity related to β-hydroxyacyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase (HOAD) and the HOAD/citrate synthase (CS) ratio suggested there was a possible higher utilization of fat in P. erythrurus. The lower expression of PGC-1α and PPAR-γ in P. erythrurus suggested their expression was not influenced by cold and low PO2 at high altitude. These distinct characteristics of P. erythrurus are considered to be necessary strategies in metabolic regulation for living at high altitude and may effectively compensate for the negative influence of cold and low PO2.

  19. Metabolic characteristics and response to high altitude in Phrynocephalus erythrurus (Lacertilia: Agamidae, a lizard dwell at altitudes higher than any other living lizards in the world.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaolong Tang

    Full Text Available Metabolic response to high altitude remains poorly explored in reptiles. In the present study, the metabolic characteristics of Phrynocephaluserythrurus (Lacertilia: Agamidae, which inhabits high altitudes (4500 m and Phrynocephalusprzewalskii (Lacertilia: Agamidae, which inhabits low altitudes, were analysed to explore the metabolic regulatory strategies for lizards living at high-altitude environments. The results indicated that the mitochondrial respiratory rates of P. erythrurus were significantly lower than those of P. przewalskii, and that proton leak accounts for 74~79% of state 4 and 7~8% of state3 in P. erythrurus vs. 43~48% of state 4 and 24~26% of state3 in P. przewalskii. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH activity in P. erythrurus was lower than in P. przewalskii, indicating that at high altitude the former does not, relatively, have a greater reliance on anaerobic metabolism. A higher activity related to β-hydroxyacyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase (HOAD and the HOAD/citrate synthase (CS ratio suggested there was a possible higher utilization of fat in P. erythrurus. The lower expression of PGC-1α and PPAR-γ in P. erythrurus suggested their expression was not influenced by cold and low PO2 at high altitude. These distinct characteristics of P. erythrurus are considered to be necessary strategies in metabolic regulation for living at high altitude and may effectively compensate for the negative influence of cold and low PO2.

  20. The New African Civil-Military Relations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    on the African continent to embark upon the New African Civil Military Relations (ACMR). In the last decade and half, the implosion of African states exposed to forces of democratization has escalated, manifest in Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Madagascar, Somalia, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Lesotho...... accorded the responsibility of organizing a Session on ACMR. From amongst some of the exciting Abstracts presented, authors submitted these as full chapters for this book which captures International African Studies Perspectives, managed by the African Public Policy & Research Institute (APPRI...