Categories
Behaviour Bluetongue lizard Bluetongue skink Uncategorized

The Bluetongue interviews

There was some interest in our recent paper on bluetongue lizards (blueys) and why they have this amazing blue tongue, which is actually a UV-blue tongue. (See our previous blog post.) Here is an interview from ABC news: Helen Shield interviews Martin Whiting on ABC radio, Hobart (nation wide). 11 June 2018. Anna Vidot interviews […]

Categories
Anti-predator behaviour Behaviour Bluetongue lizard Bluetongue skink Colour Communication Deimatic display

Why blue tongue? A potential deimatic display has been uncovered in blue-tongue skinks

An enduring question among fans of blue-tongue lizards is why the blue tongue? Why have such an outrageously coloured tongue, given that the vast majority of lizards have a regular old pink tongue? Blueys (bluetongue skinks) are something of an Australian icon. They are part of Australian folklore and most Australians have encountered them either […]

Categories
Animal signals Behaviour China field work Colour Communication Crocodile lizard Dispatches from the field

Dispatches from the field: new adventures with endangered crocodile lizards and oriental garden lizards

It’s been a very busy year, which explains why I am only now writing this blog post from my trip to China earlier this year (May-June). I had the amazing opportunity of seeing one of the world’s most endangered lizards—the crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus), in the wild, and working with one of the largest captive […]

Categories
Animal signals Behaviour Colour Communication Frog

Turn up the colour: male frogs use bright colours to avoid confusion at the pond

Imagine being a frog during the chaos of the breeding season and navigating the gathering crowds around the pond. How do you know who might be a suitable mate let alone whether they are male or female? One solution is colour. If one sex, typically males, is able to turn on some bright colour that […]

Categories
PhD opportunity

PhD opportunity – visual ecology of lizards

We are looking for a highly motivated and suitably qualified candidate to conduct a PhD program of research on reptile visual ecology, commencing in 2017. The successful applicant will be guided to develop a project to investigate the visual performance and ecological adaptations of a range of lizard species with differing life history traits. The […]

Categories
Behaviour Cane toads

Hot off the press! Toads at the invasion front are more prone to explore and take risks

By Jodie Gruber The cane toad (Rhinella marina) has been spreading rapidly across northern Australia since its introduction to control sugar cane beetles in 1935. While toads have been the focus of considerable research, we still have a poor understanding of how behavioiural traits vary across the range, particularly with respect to traits that enhance […]

Categories
Cognition Tree skink project

Julia Riley interviewed on ABC radio!

Take a listen to Julia Riley discussing our latest publication on the influence of social environment on learning in tree skinks (Egernia striolata). The interview was with Marc Fennell on ABC radio. This work, led by Julia, has been published in Animal Cognition: Riley, JL., Noble, DWA., Byrne, RW., Whiting, MJ. 2016. Does social environment […]

Categories
Dispatches from the field Frog Herpetology Lizard Lab adventures

Dispatches from the field: frogging at the DMZ

After attending the 8th World Congress of Herpetology in China, I had a night and a day in South Korea before flying on to my next destination, the US. What to do? As it turned out, I had a windfall (thanks Julia). I met Amaël Borzée, a PhD student from Seoul National University. Amaël has […]

Categories
Animal signals Behaviour Publications Sexual selection Water skink project

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. However, when […]

Categories
Egernia Social behaviour Sociality Tree skink project

Awesome new mini-documentary on Julia Riley’s PhD and social lizards!

Lizard Lab associate and honorary member Dr. James O’Hanlon has produced a fantastic mini-documentary about Julia Riley’s PhD work on tree skinks (Egernia striolata) and family living. The documentary offers some great views of our Albury study site and the amazing lizards! It asks the question why are animals social, and talks about what we […]