Why do winners keep winning?

by Fonti Kar

Animals often find themselves in direct competition with other individuals for resources and mates. Because fighting is costly, many species honestly signal their fighting ability to avoid injury (non-escalated fights). For example, in flat lizards (Platysaurus broadleyi), males can resolve dominance status by displaying their UV-reflective throats to their opponent. . . . → Read More: Why do winners keep winning?

Athletic lizards: Sex, hormones, and physical performance

By Dan Noble

When it comes to animal athletics lizards have been model systems for exploring the relationships between ecology and physical performance. Our two recent papers, one in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society and the second in Behavioral Ecology add to the growing list of studies looking at functional performance in lizards.

Eastern water . . . → Read More: Athletic lizards: Sex, hormones, and physical performance

Sex, boldness and learning in a lizard

Followers of the Lizard Lab blog will have read previous reports about relatively rapid learning in lizards. In those studies we typically focused on males or avoided drawing comparisons between the sexes because either the sample size was limited or the focus of the study was different. In our latest paper we decided the . . . → Read More: Sex, boldness and learning in a lizard

A lizard’s guide to mating: Alternative reproductive tactics give males an edge in finding the ladies

By Dan Noble

Sexual selection – the differential reproductive success of individuals – is a powerful evolutionary force. Sexual selection can lead to evolution of both beautiful and bizarre phenotypes, such as peacock trains, deer antlers and the complex displays and bright colours of many lizards. Although we see these tell-tail signs of sexual . . . → Read More: A lizard’s guide to mating: Alternative reproductive tactics give males an edge in finding the ladies

Dan Noble talks lizard cognition

The Reptile Living Room interviewed Lizard Lab member Dan Noble about our recent Biology Letters paper on spatial cognition in Eastern Water skinks. Here’s what he had to say:

Hot off the press! “Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions”

For anyone interested in comparative cognition, these are exciting times and 2012 has been a good year for lizards! Manuel Leal and Robert Powell’s study of Anolis cognition demonstrated that lizards are capable of behavioural flexibility. (Behavioural flexibility, a key feature of advanced cognition, is the ability to solve a novel problem, or develop . . . → Read More: Hot off the press! “Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions”

Kerrie hands in her honours thesis!

On Monday, Kerrie (Wechmann, that is), handed in her honours thesis! And with this, she is the first member of the Australian branch of the Lizard Lab to hand in a thesis of any shape or form. Well done Kerrie! A big celebration is planned. Kerrie did a paternity study examining the influence of . . . → Read More: Kerrie hands in her honours thesis!

Baby boom in the Lizard Lab!

Yes, that’s right, the first of our Water Skink (Eulamprus quoyii) babies have made their way into the world. Although it is earlier then expected, these little cuties are doing all the cool stuff their parents do. Little head bobs, chowing down on crickets and even biting their captors!

The brothers and sisters!

. . . → Read More: Baby boom in the Lizard Lab!