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Behaviour Ecology Global warming Saiphos equalis

How will global warming affect egg-laying and live-bearing species? We asked one of the most extraordinary lizards in the world

By Iván Beltrán Environmental temperature determines many important aspects of an animal’s life. In ectotherms, commonly known as ‘cold-blooded’ animals, the temperature experienced during embryonic development significantly impacts a hatchling’s physiology and behaviour. For instance, nest temperatures determine offspring sex in turtles and crocodilians and affect body size in squamates, a group comprised of lizards […]

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Behaviour Cognition

Do I, or don’t I? Are lizards capable of inhibitory control?

Blog post by Sebastian Hoefer We often think of reptiles as somewhat simple – entirely driven by instinct and the basic need for survival. That is where the expression “Reptilian Brain” comes from. It is certainly true that the anatomy of the reptile brain is different from that of mammals, however, we do not know […]

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Behaviour Publications

Competing through eating: lessons from a lizard

Post by Isabel Damas One way invasive species can have a major impact on ecosystems, is by threatening native species, particularly through competition for resources. Animals typically use two strategies to out-compete their opponents: they can be directly aggressive (termed interference competition), or they can indirectly out-compete rivals by consuming more resources (exploitative competition). Our new […]

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Behaviour Cognition Egernia Lab news

Dr. Birgit Szabo talks lizard smarts!

Birgit recently gave a public lecture about her research on lizard cognition at a mini-conference “The Future of Herpetology, Inspiring Women and Forgotten Frogs: A conference promoting women’s voices in herpetology”. Watch her talk (below) and find out more about Birgit and her work on her web page. Dr. Birgit Szabo talking about smart lizards! […]

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Animal signals Anti-predator behaviour Behaviour

Australian Geographic features frilled lizard work!

The latest edition of Australian Geographic features the iconic Australian Frill-necked Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii). A big part of the article, written by John Pickrell, features our own Christian Alessandro Perez-Martinez! And the top of the page features his photo (reproduced at left). Well done Christian! Have a read of the article. The paper, written by […]

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Behaviour Cognition Egernia Publications Social intelligence Sociality Tree skink project

Tree skinks go to school: The complexities of social learning in lizards

By: Fonti Kar & Julia Riley “Never study an animal that is smarter than you” – Dr Martin Whiting Animals learn about their environment and use what they have learnt while foraging, to increase mating success, avoid predators, and overall increase their chances of survival. An animal can learn by themselves, but this can be […]

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Anti-predator behaviour Behaviour Herpetology Lizard ecology Water dragon project

Up for a fight or doing a runner, for a lizard it could be in their genes

Animals often instinctively assess their environment, and display innate behavioural responses. For example, many newly born reptiles and fish know how to respond to predators – knowing when to “fight” and when to “flee” – right after hatching out of their eggs! Innate behavioural responses, especially in times of peril, may be the difference between […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]