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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 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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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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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 […]

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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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Egernia Sociality Tree skink project

Hot off the press! Roommates are not all they’re cracked up to be (if you’re a lizard)

Recently, myself and collaborators published our study that found – social experience has a crucial role in development of a family-living lizard. We also discovered that despite their social nature, the Australian tree skink (Egernia striolata) does not necessarily thrive in a ‘share-house’ environment. Group- and family-living animals, like humans, birds, and mammals, tend not […]

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 […]

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Behaviour Publications Sexual selection Water skink project

Athletic lizards: Sex, hormones, and physical performance

By Dan Noble When it comes to animal athletics lizards have been model systems for exploring the relationships between ecology and physical performance. Our two recent papers, one in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society and the second in Behavioral Ecology add to the growing list of studies looking at functional performance in lizards. In our first study, […]

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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 […]