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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 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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Bluetongue lizard Bluetongue skink Cognition

Blue-tongue lizards are born smart, at least as smart as their parents!

By Birgit Szabo As children we have much to learn after we are born. We learn to walk, to talk, to develop our social skills, and when we start school we learn how to read, write and do maths. ​Humans, and many other animals, are considered altricial, meaning that juveniles need to be taken care […]

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Cognition Conservation Podarcis Publications

Hot off the press! An invasive lizard species can learn from other species

Check out our new paper on social learning in the Italian wall lizard, Podarcis sicula. This work formed part of Isabel Damas’ PhD thesis, and it was a huge effort! The question of what makes an invasive species successful compared to other species, that may fail to gain a foothold in a new location, is […]

Categories
Cognition Egernia Publications Sociality

What tree skinks know about change: A story in colour and shape

Note from Martin Whiting: This blog posts details a chapter of Birgit Szabo’s PhD recently published in Animal Behaviour and represents an enormous amount of work. Birgit did a 9-month cognition experiment, which could be the longest lizard cognition experiment thus far conducted. (Let us know if it isn’t!) The work is in collaboration with […]

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Animal signals Cognition Communication Water skink project

Brains and Brawn: dominant lizards are better learners too!

Note: this blog post is republished from Fonti’s web site Dominant individuals tend to have greater monopoly over food and mates and therefore have more offspring compared to subordinate individuals. Are these successes attributed to greater cognitive ability? Or are dominant individuals just better at freeloading from their clever subordinate counterparts? We investigated whether dominant […]

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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
Cognition Egernia Herpetology Publications Social behaviour Tree skink project

Skinks and Ladders: A family-living lizard’s learning ability is not affected by their home environment

By Julia Riley A family-living lizard’s ability to navigate through a complex maze is not linked to how they were raised We have found that the learning ability of the Tree Skink, a lizard that lives with family, is not linked to growing up with others. These lizards were able to learn to navigate a […]

Categories
Behaviour Cognition Herpetology Publications Water skink project

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 issue […]

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Cane toad cognition Cane toads Lab news Lizard Lab adventures

Dispatches from the field: Australian Geographic expedition to the Kimberley, WA

The Kimberley in Western Australia is a vast expanse of wilderness, famous for its pristine gorges and unique fauna. It’s also home to the highest species richness of goannas—up to 10 are sympatric in some areas. Sean Doody (University of Tennessee and Newcastle), Simon Clulow (University of Newcastle) and Colin McHenry (Monash University) have been […]