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Tropical Amphisbaenians & Lizards 3-15-06 Scurries among the leaves.

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Presentation on theme: "Tropical Amphisbaenians & Lizards 3-15-06 Scurries among the leaves."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tropical Amphisbaenians & Lizards 3-15-06 Scurries among the leaves

2 The Two-headed Lizard, Amphisbaena alba – Trinidad. Amphisbaenas are now equivalent in taxonomic category to lizards.

3 Two species of true chameleons, genus Chameleo – Africa.

4 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.

5 Lizards change colors by a combination of factors, but amoeboid movement of melanin is most common and secondarily affects other colors.

6 Neotropical lizards that are closely allied to and look like our Anolis are in the genus Norops - Belize

7 Brown Anole, Norops sagrei


9 Anoline dewlaps are important in species recognition, so they vary

10 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.

11 The following Norops dewlaps were scanned from Jay Savage’s new book on the herps of Costa Rica. Norops altae Norops biporcatus

12 More from Savage: Norops capito Norops cupreus Norops humilis Norops intermedius

13 Still more from Savage: Norops pentaprion Norops polylepis Norops sericeus Norops oxylophus Norops tropidolepis

14 Two more from Savage: Both of these are the same male Norops woodi, showing its ability to change the color of its dewlap.

15 Jen Clark & her adornments

16 Tropidurus plica – N South America

17 A Tropidurus plica ready to escape.

18 Tropidurus plica is very cryptic.

19 The only iguanid lizard from the Old World, Brachylophus from Fiji

20 Basilisk lizards are very common in Central America. Basiliscus plumbifrons – from Savage Basiliscus biporcatus – from Henderson

21 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.

22 Elegant Helmeted Basilisk, Corytophanes cristatus - Belize

23 Corythophanes hernandezi, Cockscomb.

24 Sceloporus variabilis male.

25 Marine Iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus - Galápagos

26 Land Iguana, Conolophus subcristatus - Galápagos

27 Spiny-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura similis - Belize

28 Can you see why they are called spiny-tails?

29 Iguana, Iguana iguana iguana - Belize

30 Iguana Conservation Project, Belize Zoo: An attempt to offset the raided nests (see below) and over harvesting for food by the Maya.

31 Rainbow Lizard, Agama agama - Kenya

32 Lizard foot shape is an indication of how they move, and on what surfaces.

33 Gecko toe pad (l) & magnification of structure (r)

34 Gecko toes work the same, but there are many varieties. Science News 8-31-02

35 Yucatán Banded Gecko, Coleonyx elegans - Guatemala

36 Thecadactylus rapidacauda, a common house gecko.

37 One of Belize’s tiniest lizards, Dwarf Gecko, Sphaerodactylus glaucus

38 Gonatodes caecilae

39 Island Leaf-toed Gecko, Phyllodactylus insularis – Half Moon Caye, Belize (only)

40 Festive Ameiva, Ameiva festiva - Belize

41 Tegú, Tupinambis teguixin - Trinidad

42 The largest lizard in the world, the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)

43 Mabuya unimarginata – Maya Centre, Belize.

44 Kenyan Mabuya:

45 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.


47 Fini

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