Presentation on theme: "Tropical Amphisbaenians & Lizards 3-15-06 Scurries among the leaves."— Presentation transcript:
Tropical Amphisbaenians & Lizards Scurries among the leaves
The Two-headed Lizard, Amphisbaena alba – Trinidad. Amphisbaenas are now equivalent in taxonomic category to lizards.
Two species of true chameleons, genus Chameleo – Africa.
Chameleons have laterally compressed bodies, prehensile tails, and zygodactyl feet (three toes are fused, and oppose two fused toes, thus allowing for maximum efficiency for walking on a twig.
Lizards change colors by a combination of factors, but amoeboid movement of melanin is most common and secondarily affects other colors.
Neotropical lizards that are closely allied to and look like our Anolis are in the genus Norops - Belize
Brown Anole, Norops sagrei
Anoline dewlaps are important in species recognition, so they vary
The dewlap, or throat fan, is widely used in lizards, but most highly developed in the anoline lizards. It is “opened” by movement of hyoid cartilages.
The following Norops dewlaps were scanned from Jay Savage’s new book on the herps of Costa Rica. Norops altae Norops biporcatus
More from Savage: Norops capito Norops cupreus Norops humilis Norops intermedius
Still more from Savage: Norops pentaprion Norops polylepis Norops sericeus Norops oxylophus Norops tropidolepis
Two more from Savage: Both of these are the same male Norops woodi, showing its ability to change the color of its dewlap.
Jen Clark & her adornments
Tropidurus plica – N South America
A Tropidurus plica ready to escape.
Tropidurus plica is very cryptic.
The only iguanid lizard from the Old World, Brachylophus from Fiji
Basilisk lizards are very common in Central America. Basiliscus plumbifrons – from Savage Basiliscus biporcatus – from Henderson
Basilisks are called “Jesus lizards” because they can walk (run) on water. They have flaps on their toes that open and give more surface area since they rapidly run, bipedally, over the water. I’ve seen them run more than 30 ft over the surface.
The largest lizard in the world, the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)
Mabuya unimarginata – Maya Centre, Belize.
Many lizards can lose their tails and regenerate them. When this happens, the break occurs along a fracture plane in a caudal bone, and blood vessels and nerves immediately pinch off. The regenerated tail will have cartilage, not bone.