Kalahari tree skinks associate with sociable weaver nests despite African pygmy falcons

In the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa sociable weaver nests are a prominent feature in the landscape. These large nests typically occupy camelthorn trees and provide a refuge to a range of organisms, including Kalahari tree skinks (Trachylepis spilogaster). They also provide refuge for a predator of the skink: the African pygmy falcon, which . . . → Read More: Kalahari tree skinks associate with sociable weaver nests despite African pygmy falcons

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

Hatchling lizards show their smarts in the classroom

Lizard cognition has experienced something of a resurgence in the last few years. To get up to speed, take a look at a previous post summarising most of the recent published work. In a new paper published online in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Ben Clark, Dan Noble and Martin Whiting from the Lizard Lab . . . → Read More: Hatchling lizards show their smarts in the classroom

Better red than dead? Fiery frills win more contests in the Australian Frillneck Lizard

Dave Hamilton, Martin Whiting and Sarah Pryke

Recently, the Pryke Lab published its first paper on a reptile—the iconic Frillneck Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii). Both males and females have frills and until now, the consensus has always been that frills play a role in anti-predator behaviour. Not only does the frill startle a would-be predator, . . . → Read More: Better red than dead? Fiery frills win more contests in the Australian Frillneck Lizard

Polyandry provides a reproductive ‘boost’ in Water Skinks!

Our new paper on female polyandry in E. quoyii has just been published in Behavioral Ecology. In this paper we tested a series of predictions that assessed the roles of direct and indirect genetic fitness benefits females may receive by mating with many males. Direct fitness benefits are those benefits females gain directly by mating with . . . → Read More: Polyandry provides a reproductive ‘boost’ in Water Skinks!

Tadpoles need friends too!

A major interest in our lab is social behaviour and why animals live in groups. Group formation has evolved numerous times independently in many different species. Understanding the proximate mechanisms and ultimate (evolutionary) factors driving group formation is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Stephan Leu recently spent time in the Lizard Lab and . . . → Read More: Tadpoles need friends too!

Sex in the lizard world: Promiscuous females and protective males

The sex life of Australian water skinks (Eulamprus) has received considerable attention in the past few decades. The Keogh Lab documented alternate reproductive tactics in E. heatwolei and Jess Stapley’s PhD focused in part, on fitness consequences of ARTs. More recently, Dan Noble has been working on ARTs in E. quoyii, and this work . . . → Read More: Sex in the lizard world: Promiscuous females and protective males

The global conservation status of reptiles: one in five species is threatened

With the exception of perhaps crocodiles and turtles, the attention devoted to the conservation of reptiles has for a long time lagged behind that devoted to birds and mammals. A recent study published in Biological Conservation, to which we contributed a small amount of data, has attempted to redress this conservation short-fall. The extinction . . . → Read More: The global conservation status of reptiles: one in five species is threatened

Matching colours: lizards prefer mates with similar colours

Guillem Pérez i de Lanuza, Enrique Font and Pau Carazo have just published their work on colour assortative mating in the polymorphic lizard Podarcis muralis in Behavioral Ecology. Pau has previously spent time in our lab and works with us on a number of projects. The following is written by Pau and is a . . . → Read More: Matching colours: lizards prefer mates with similar colours

A new paper on the natural hisory of flap-necked chameleons

See our new paper on the natural history of the flap-necked chameleon from southern Africa. It can be downloaded for free from the MCZ web page:

http://www.mcz.harvard.edu/Publications/search_pubs.html?publication=Breviora