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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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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 […]

Categories
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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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 […]

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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 […]

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Publications

Lizard Lab word cloud

Categories
Lab news Publications Small-eyed snake

Territoriality in a snake

While there are snakes that have been shown to be territorial in an ecological context, such as Taiwanese kukrisnakes which defend sea turtle nests (citation below), territoriality in a sexual selection context has never been demonstrated in a snake. Until now. Jonno Webb has been studying broadheaded and small-eyed snakes in Morton National Park, New […]

Categories
Augrabies flat lizards Lab news Publications

New African flat lizard named for David Attenborough

David Attenborough has had, and continues to have, a remarkable career making documentaries about the natural world. To this end, he has inspired generations of biologists. We were very pleased when he turned his attention to amphibians and reptiles for the making of the series Life in Cold Blood. And we were particularly happy when […]

Categories
Animal signals Colour Communication Publications Science news

Do you study colour? Hot (and warm) off the press!

Interested in colour signals and wondering about the best approaches to researching colour and what you should be reporting? Two recent papers from members of the lab and fellow researchers at Macquarie and elsewhere should help! In the first paper, Kemp et al. provide a framework for studying animal colour. This is not a how-to […]