Popular Lizards News and Current Events

Popular Lizards News and Current Events, Lizards News Articles.
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Dragon heart
A new study from researchers at the Gladstone Institutes, in a close collaboration with scientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF) and Zoo Atlanta, provides the first high-resolution sequence of the Komodo dragon, as well as insight into how it evolved. (2019-07-29)

How to color a lizard: From biology to mathematics
Skin color patterns in animals arise from microscopic interactions among colored cells that obey equations discovered by Alan Turing. Researchers at UNIGE and SIB report that a lizard acquires its adult skin color by changing the color of individual skin scales using an esoteric computational system invented by John von Neumann. The researchers shows that the 3-D geometry of the lizard's skin scales causes the Turing mechanism to transform into the von Neumann computing system. (2017-04-12)

Why are there so many types of lizards?
Researchers from Arizona State University School of Life Sciences and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute have sequenced the complete genetic code -- the genome -- of several vertebrate species from Panama. They found that changes in genes involved in the interbrain (the site of the pineal gland and other endocrine glands), for color vision, hormones and the colorful dewlap that males bob to attract females, may contribute to the formation of boundaries between species. Genes regulating limb development also evolved especially quickly. (2018-02-23)

Cool lizards are better at learning socially
Bearded dragons which are incubated in colder environments are better at solving cognitive tasks as adults than incubated in warmer temperatures, according to new research published today. Scientists from the University of Lincoln, UK, tested the social learning abilities of bearded dragons which had been incubated in either an average of 30°C or 27°C and found that those from the colder incubation environment picked up new skills faster than their hotter counterparts. (2017-11-22)

A 'transitional fossil' debunked
Snakes are a very diverse group of present-day reptiles, with nearly 3,600 known species. They are readily recognized by their long bodies and lack of limbs. The origin of snakes from lizard-like precursors with paired limbs has long been a controversial subject. (2016-10-28)

The conflict between males and females could replace the evolution of new species
New research shows that males and females of the same species can evolve to be so different that they prevent other species from evolving or colonising habitats, challenging long-held theories on the way natural selection drives the evolution of biodiversity. (2018-02-21)

How tails help geckos and other vertebrates make great strides
A wagging tail is often associated with dogs' emotions, but the side-to-side motion may also help them take longer strides and move faster, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside. The research was done on leopard geckos, which are ideal animals for the study of tail function because they naturally lose their tails as a defense mechanism against predators in a process called autotomy. (2017-09-07)

Genomic tools for species discovery inflate estimates of species numbers, U-Michigan biologists contend
Increasingly popular techniques that infer species boundaries in animals and plants solely by analyzing genetic differences are flawed and can lead to inflated diversity estimates, according to a new study from two University of Michigan evolutionary biologists. (2017-01-30)

Gut microbes and bird's breath from the U at #SICB2017
University of Utah researchers will be among the scientists convening in New Orleans for the 2017 Annual Meeting for the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Jan. 4-8 (#SICB2017). Attendees gather at the research and educational forum to share recent findings and navigate the future challenges in their respective fields. (2017-01-06)

The only way is up: Trees help reptiles thrive
James Cook University researchers in Queensland say if graziers leave trees in place on their land all types of reptiles will benefit. (2017-08-10)

Discriminating diets of meat-eating dinosaurs
A big problem with dinosaurs is that there seem to be too many meat-eaters. From studies of modern animals, there is a feeding pyramid, with plants at the bottom, then plant-eaters, and then meat-eaters at the top. (2019-11-03)

Periodic table of ecological niches could aid in predicting effects of climate change
A group of ecologists has started creating a periodic table of ecological niches similar to chemistry's periodic table. It will be a critical resource for scientists seeking to understand how a warming climate may be spurring changes in species around the globe. (2017-08-30)

The origin of snakes -- new evolutionary scenario presented
The early evolution of snakes happened from surface-terrestrial to burrowing in the lizard-snake transition suggests a research group at the University of Helsinki. (2018-01-25)

Research reveals swaths of Asia inhabited by surprisingly related 'Lizards of the Lost Arcs'
A varied collection of lizards throughout Asia are unexpectedly close cousins of beach-dwelling mourning geckos, all descended from a common ancestor species that thrived along an ancient archipelago in the West Pacific that served as a 'superhighway' of biodiversity. (2018-01-25)

Two fishes a day keep the mantid coming back to prey: The first fishing praying mantis
For the first time, a praying mantis is recorded to fish. For five days in a row, an adult male was observed hunting and devouring a total of nine guppies from a pond located in a private roof garden in Karnataka, India. Apart from demonstrating such repetitive behaviour, the event is remarkable in the fact that it occurred naturally, without external interference. The phenomenon is described in the open access Journal of Orthoptera Research. (2018-09-20)

Scientists complete conservation puzzle, shaping understanding of life on earth
An international team of scientists have completed the 'atlas of life' -- the first global review and map of every vertebrate on Earth. Led by researchers at the University of Oxford and Tel Aviv University, the 39 scientists have produced a catalogue and atlas of the world's reptiles. By linking this atlas with existing maps for birds, mammals and amphibians, the team have found many new areas where conservation action is vital. (2017-10-09)

Scientists confirm first 2-headed bull shark
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of the first-ever, two-headed bull shark. (2013-03-25)

Cougar predation key to ecosystem health
The general disappearance of cougars from a portion of Zion National Park in the past 70 years has allowed deer populations to dramatically increase, leading to severe ecological damage, loss of cottonwood trees, eroding streambanks and declining biodiversity. Researchers are calling it a (2006-10-24)

Hawaiian stick spiders re-evolve the same three guises every time they island hop
We don't usually expect evolution to be predictable. But Hawaiian stick spiders of the Ariamnes genus have repeatedly evolved the same distinctive forms, known as ecomorphs, on different islands, researchers report on March 8 in the journal Current Biology. Ecomorphs -- which look similar and live in similar habitats, but aren't as closely related as they appear -- are surprisingly rare. The researchers hope that these newly described ones might help us understand this strange evolutionary pattern. (2018-03-08)

Extinct monitor lizard had four eyes, fossil evidence shows
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on April 2 have evidence that an extinct species of monitor lizard had four eyes, a first among known jawed vertebrates. Today, only the jawless lampreys have four eyes. (2018-04-02)

Birds eat 400 to 500 million tonnes of insects annually
Birds around the world eat 400 to 500 million metric tonnes of beetles, flies, ants, moths, aphids, grasshoppers, crickets and other anthropods per year. These numbers have been calculated in a study led by Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel in Switzerland. The research, published in Springer's journal The Science of Nature, highlights the important role birds play in keeping plant-eating insect populations under control. (2018-07-09)

Robots may need lizard-like tails for 'off-road' travel
Robots may one day tackle obstacles and traverse uneven terrains thanks to collaborative research analyzing the motion of lizards. The study, which featured a University of Queensland researcher, used a slow motion camera to capture the nuanced movement of eight species of Australian agamid lizards that run on two legs -- an action known as 'bipedal' movement. (2018-09-25)

Unheard of life history for a vertebrate
There is a newly discovered life history among the 28,300 species of known tetrapods. A chameleon from arid southwestern Madagascar spends up to three-quarters of its life in an egg. Even more unusual, life after hatching is a mere 4 to 5 months. No other known four-legged animal has such a rapid growth rate and such a short life span. The new research is reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2008-06-30)

New study gives weight to Darwin's theory of 'living fossils'
A team of researchers from the University of Bristol studying the 'living fossil' Sphenodon -- or tuatara -- have identified a new way to measure the evolutionary rate of these enigmatic creatures, giving credence to Darwin's theory of 'living fossils.' (2017-02-22)

Gigantic mammal 'cousin' discovered
During the Triassic period (252-201 million years ago) mammal-like reptiles called therapsids co-existed with ancestors to dinosaurs, crocodiles, mammals, pterosaurs, turtles, frogs, and lizards. One group of therapsids are the dicynodonts. Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden, together with colleagues in Poland, have discovered fossils from a new genus of gigantic dicynodont. The new species Lisowicia bojani is described in the journal Science. (2018-11-22)

Some like it hot!
Ecologists have no doubt that climate change will affect the earth's animals and plants. But how exactly? This is often hard to predict. There are already indications that some species are shifting their distribution range. But it is much less clear how individual animals and populations are responding to the changes. Scientists at the UFZ have been studying nocturnal desert geckos to see how they are adapting to climatic changes. (2018-05-24)

Bold lizards of all sizes have higher mating success
Boldness correlates with the mating success, but not body size or sex, of yellow-spotted monitor lizards roaming the remote Oombulgurri floodplains of tropical Western Australia, ecologists report in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecosphere. Bold individuals expose themselves to much higher risk of being eaten by predators during the dangerous wet season. The researchers demonstrated quantifiable behavioral syndromes in the large lizards, with an intriguing relationship to the lizards' seasonal hunting strategies. (2018-05-24)

Evolution On The Fast Track
A dramatic discovery, reported by a University of Wisconsin scientist in the Nov. 21 Nature, shows that altering a handful of genes can quickly send an animal down the road to becoming a new species. The finding helps explain biological diversity, and seasonal and geographic variation in animal appearance (1996-11-20)

Pregnancy loss and the evolution of sex are linked by cellular line dance
In new research published this week (Aug. 1, 2017) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Levitis and his collaborators report that meiosis takes a heavy toll on the viability of offspring. And not just for humans. Creatures from geckos to garlic and cactuses to cockroaches pay a price to undergo sexual reproduction. (2017-08-01)

Lizard love
Anolis lizards have a thing or two to teach humans about love -- or in scientific speak, sexual selection -- at least when it comes to territoriality. Decades of behavioral research on the lizard's mating systems have resulted in near-unanimous agreement among scientists that the males maintain restricted, static territories to defend exclusive mating access to females within these territories and are consequently polygamous. (2018-02-21)

For exotic pets, the most popular are also most likely to be released in the wild
Among pet snakes and lizards, the biggest-selling species are also the most likely to be released by their owners -- and to potentially become invasive species, according to a Rutgers study published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The study by Rutgers University-New Brunswick ecologists provides new clarity on how and why the exotic pet trade has become the primary venue by which reptiles and amphibians arrive in non-native lands, the first step to becoming ecologically damaging invaders. (2018-08-22)

New study sheds light (and some shade) on anole diversification
The Greater Antilles are home to more than 100 species of Anolis lizards. The success of these reptiles is often attributed to the evolution of distinct body shapes and behaviors that allow them to occupy ecological niches. A study from an international team of biologists including the University of Missouri reports that the evolution of physiological differences may have been just as important as these physical differences. (2018-05-03)

Climate change may even threaten one of the world's most resilient lizards
Bahamian anole lizards are popular exotic pets and are found throughout the Western Hemisphere, suggesting that they are extremely adaptable creatures. A new study suggests that their adaptability may not extend to the temperature changes predicted by climate change models. (2018-05-09)

Prized fossil find illuminates the lives of lizards in the Age of Dinosaurs
Paleontologists from the University of Washington, picking through a bounty of fossils from Montana, have discovered something unexpected -- a new species of lizard from the late dinosaur era, whose closest relatives roamed in faraway Asia. (2017-01-24)

Tree-climbing geckos that use narrower perches have longer limbs than expected
Tree-climbing geckos that use narrow perches have relatively longer limbs than comparisons with other tree-climbing lizards would suggest, according to a study published Sept. 27, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Travis Hagey from Michigan State University, US, and colleagues. (2017-09-27)

Dinosaurs were thriving before asteroid strike that wiped them out
Dinosaurs were unaffected by long-term climate changes and flourished before their sudden demise by asteroid strike. (2019-03-06)

U of G study is first to find evidence that leopard geckos can make new brain cells
University of Guelph researchers have discovered the type of stem cell allowing geckos to create new brain cells. This finding provides evidence that lizards may also be able to regenerate parts of the brain after injury. (2018-07-27)

T. Rex couldn't stick out its tongue, new research shows
Dinosaurs are often depicted as fierce creatures, baring their teeth, with tongues wildly stretching from their mouths like giant, deranged lizards. But new research reveals a major problem with this classic image: Dinosaurs couldn't stick out their tongues like lizards. Instead, their tongues were probably rooted to the bottoms of their mouths in a manner akin to alligators. (2018-06-20)

Rattlesnake venom: Mild, medium and wicked hot
In a surprising evolutionary twist, a new study suggests that while one rattlesnake may routinely feast on lizard meat, its seemingly identical neighbor snake might strike and strike and never kill its would-be reptilian prey. (2019-02-05)

Dinosaurs ended -- and originated -- with a bang!
It is commonly understood that the dinosaurs disappeared with a bang -- wiped out by a great meteorite impact on the Earth 66 million years ago. But their origins have been less understood. In a new study, scientists from MUSE -- Museum of Science, Trento, Italy, universities of Ferrara and Padova, Italy and the University of Bristol show that the key expansion of dinosaurs was also triggered by a crisis -- a mass extinction that happened 232 million years ago. (2018-04-16)

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