Current Lizards News and Events

Current Lizards News and Events, Lizards News Articles.
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How a gene called HAND2 may impact the timing of labor
Using new and existing datasets the team studied genes that were active in the uterine linings of different animals while pregnant or carrying eggs. Scientists also investigated the changing levels of HAND2 during gestation. (2021-02-22)

From fins to limbs
In a new study an international team of researchers examined three-dimensional digital models of the bones, joints, and muscles of the fins and limbs of two extinct early tetrapods and a closely related fossil fish and discover these early tetrapods had a very distinct pattern of muscle leverage that didn't look like a fish fin or modern tetrapod limbs and their limbs were more adapted for propulsion rather than weight bearing. (2021-01-22)

Exploration of toxic Tiger Rattlesnake venom advances use of genetic science techniques
A team of researchers led by the University of South Florida has decoded the genome of the Tiger Rattlesnake, which has venom 40 times more toxic than that of Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes, the largest venomous snake in North America. (2021-01-19)

Penned release of green geckos has potential to help preserve threatened native species
In a paper just published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology, the Department of Zoology researchers outlined how they translocated 19 barking geckos to Mana Island, using the method of penned release - enclosing them in a 100m² pen for three months so they get used to the site and hopefully establish a breeding population. (2021-01-13)

Research explains why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs
New research by scientists at the University of Bristol explains how a 'stop-start' pattern of evolution, governed by environmental change, could explain why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs. (2021-01-07)

Research shows rising lizard temperatures may change predator-prey relationship with snakes
Researchers from the University of Hong Kong and Toho University have discovered that predation by snakes is pushing lizards to be active at warmer body temperatures on islands where snakes are present, in comparison to islands free from snakes. The findings show that lizard thermal biology is highly dependent on predation pressures and that body temperatures are rising suggest that such ectothermic predator-prey relationships may be changing under climatic warming. (2021-01-07)

Invasive in the U.S., lifesaver Down Under
New research reveals monitor lizards should be regarded as ''ecosystem engineers'' as they provide food and shelter to other reptiles, insects and mammals, helping prevent extinction. (2020-12-21)

OU-led study focuses on evolutionary determinism and convergence in marine fishes
The stickleback is a well-studied system in freshwater lakes, but the evolution of convergent morphotypes that occupy different positions in the water column in marine environments is less clear. An international group of scientists led by researchers at the University of Oklahoma decided to test the extent to which independent transitions from bottom to midwater habitats in marine fish species from different oceanic basins resulted in the recurrent evolution of body shape morphologies, comparable to those documented in sticklebacks. (2020-12-15)

First-known fossil iguana burrow found in the Bahamas
The fossilized burrow dates back to the Late Pleistocene Epoch, about 115,000 years ago, and is located on the island of San Salvador -- best known as the likely spot where Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in his 1492 voyage. (2020-12-09)

Flashy lizards are more attractive to mates and to predators
In the lizard world, flashy colors attract the interest of females looking for mates. But they can make colorful males desirable to other eyes, too -- as lunch, according to new research led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York. (2020-12-01)

Not just lizards - alligators can regrow their tails too
A team of researchers from Arizona State University and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have uncovered that young alligators have the ability to regrow their tails up to three-quarters of a foot, or 18% of their total body length. (2020-11-23)

Jacky dragon moms' time in the sun affects their kids
A new study conducted at the University of New South Wales and published in the November/December 2020 issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology sheds light on a possible connection between an animal's environmental conditions and the traits of its offspring. (2020-11-10)

Cockroaches and lizards inspire new robot developed by Ben-Gurion University researcher
'The AmphiSTAR uses a sprawling mechanism inspired by cockroaches, and it is designed to run on water at high speeds like the basilisk lizard,' says Ben-Gurion University Prof. Zarrouk. 'We envision that AmphiSTAR can be used for agricultural, search and rescue and excavation applications, where both crawling and swimming are required.' (2020-11-02)

Lizard skull fossil is new and 'perplexing' extinct species
A new species of extinct lizard, Kopidosaurus perplexus, has been described by a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin. The first part of the name references the lizard's distinct teeth; a 'kopis' is a curved blade used in ancient Greece. But the second part is a nod to the 'perplexing' matter of just where the extinct lizard should be placed on the tree of life. (2020-11-02)

Bat-winged dinosaurs that could glide
Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, according to a new study led by an international team of researchers, including McGill University Professor Hans Larsson. Unable to compete with other tree-dwelling dinosaurs and early birds, they went extinct after just a few million years. The findings, published in iScience, support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved. (2020-10-22)

Ancient tiny teeth reveal first mammals lived more like reptiles
Pioneering analysis of 200 million-year-old teeth belonging to the earliest mammals suggests they functioned like their cold-blooded counterparts - reptiles, leading less active but much longer lives. (2020-10-12)

Study highlights lack of evidence for plasticity-led evolution in lizards
Scientists have challenged a popular theory behind the evolution of similar traits in island lizards, in a study published recently in eLife. (2020-09-29)

Jaws of death: USU Eastern paleontologist renames giant, prehistoric marine lizard
Utah State University Eastern paleontologist Joshua Lively describes a new genus of mosasaur, Gnathomortis stadtmani, a marine lizard that roamed the oceans of North America toward the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. (2020-09-23)

Discovery of a new mass extinction
It's not often a new mass extinction is identified; after all, such events were so devastating they really stand out in the fossil record. In a new paper, published today in Science Advances, an international team has identified a major extinction of life 233 million years ago that triggered the dinosaur takeover of the world. The crisis has been called the Carnian Pluvial Episode. (2020-09-16)

New insights into evolution of gene expression
The long-term expression of genes in vertebrate organs predisposes these genes to be subsequently utilized in other organs during evolution. The scientists Kenji Fukushima and David D. Pollock report this finding in the journal Nature Communications. (2020-09-08)

Montana State researcher featured in Nature for work on rare reptile genome
Chris Organ worked with an international group of scientists to sequence the genome of the tuatara, a reptile found only in New Zealand with an evolutionary history stretching back 250 million years. (2020-08-14)

Biodiversity may limit invasions: Lessons from lizards on Panama Canal islands
Introduced species can become invasive, damaging ecosystems and disrupting economies through explosive population growth. One mechanism underlying population expansion in invasive populations is 'enemy release', whereby the invader experiences relaxation of agonistic interactions with other species, including parasites. (2020-08-09)

Dinosaur relative's genome linked to mammals
Scientists from the University of Adelaide and South Australian Museum have collaborated with Otago University, New Zealand and a global team to sequence the genome of the tuatara - a rare reptile whose ancestors once roamed the earth with dinosaurs. (2020-08-05)

NAU biologist part of international team to sequence genome of rare 'living fossil'
Northern Arizona University assistant professor Marc Tollis is one of a dozen collaborators sequencing the genome of the tuatara, a lizard-like creature that lives on the islands of New Zealand. This groundbreaking research was done in partnership with the Māori people of New Zealand, (2020-08-05)

The curious genome of the tuatara, an ancient reptile in peril
International scientists and Ngātiwai, a Māori tribe, teamed up to sequence the genome of a rare reptile, the tuatara, uncovering some unique aspects of the tuatara's evolution. The genome sequence will enable comparative studies to better understand the evolution of the tuatara and its distant relatives: other reptiles, birds, and mammals. Shedding light on the tuatara's biology will help protect this vulnerable species. (2020-08-05)

Oldest South American fossil lizard discovered in Brazil
The animal was approximately 10 cm long and lived more than 130 million years ago in what is now the state of Minas Gerais. Its morphology differs from that of all other known lizard species. (2020-07-28)

Double take: New study analyzes global, multiple-tailed lizards
Curtin research into abnormal regeneration events in lizards has led to the first published scientific review on the prevalence of lizards that have re-generated not just one, but two, or even up to six, tails. (2020-07-06)

'Fang'tastic: researchers report amphibians with snake-like dental glands
Utah State University biologist Edmund 'Butch' Brodie, Jr. and colleagues from Brazil's Butantan Institute describe oral glands in a family of terrestrial caecilians, serpent-like amphibians related to frogs and salamanders. (2020-07-03)

First dinosaur eggs were soft like a turtle's
New research suggests that the first dinosaurs laid soft-shelled eggs -- a finding that contradicts established thought. The study, led by the American Museum of Natural History and Yale University, analyzed the eggs of two vastly different non-avian dinosaurs and found that they resembled those of turtles in their microstructure, composition, and mechanical properties. The research also suggests that hard-shelled eggs evolved at least three times independently in the dinosaur family tree. (2020-06-17)

First egg from Antarctica is big and might belong to an extinct sea lizard
An analysis led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin has found that a mysterious fossil discovered in 2011 is a giant, soft-shell egg from about 66 million years ago. Measuring in at more than 11 by 7 inches, the egg is the largest soft-shell egg ever discovered and the second-largest egg of any known animal. (2020-06-17)

Lizard legacy sheds new light on web of life
Austral Ecology published 12 new studies this month that together represent a vast progression in knowledge on species like Australia's endangered pygmy bluetongue and iconic sleepy lizard, and share new insights on the roles of parasites, bacteria, environmental change, chemical communication and more - to lizards ecology and ecosystems broadly. (2020-06-09)

Human activity threatens 50 billion years of vertebrate evolutionary history
A new study maps for the first time the evolutionary history of the world's terrestrial vertebrates: amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles. It explores how areas with large concentrations of evolutionarily distinct species are being impacted by our ever-increasing 'human footprint.' (2020-06-03)

Peculiar behavior of the beetle Toramus larvae
When studying the larval morphology of Toramini (Coleoptera: Erotylidae) we found that larvae of the genus Toramus attach their exuviae to their distal abdomen, with each exuvia from the preceding instar attached to the next to form a vertical pile. Exuvial attachment is facilitated by modified hook-like setae with flattened shafts inserted into the exuvia of the previous instar. We discuss the possibility that the exuvial attachment serves as a kind of autotomy -- ''exuvial autotomy''. (2020-05-21)

Ribs evolved for movement first, then co-opted for breathing
A major transformation in vertebrate evolution took place when breathing shifted from being driven by head and throat muscles -- like in fish and frogs -- to the torso -- like in reptiles and mammals. But what caused the shift? A new study posits that the intermediate step was locomotion. When lizards walk, they bend side-to-side. The ribs and vertebrae are crucial to this movement, and the mechanics follow the same pattern as when they inhale and exhale. (2020-05-19)

Lizards develop new 'love language'
Free from the risk of predators and intent to attract potential mates, male lizards relocated to experimental islets in Greece produce a novel chemical calling card, according to new research from biologists in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. (2020-04-21)

Synchrotron X-ray sheds light on some of the world's oldest dinosaur eggs
An international team of scientists led by the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, has been able to reconstruct, in the smallest details, the skulls of some of the world's oldest known dinosaur embryos in 3D, using powerful and non-destructive synchrotron techniques at the ESRF, the European Synchrotron in France. They found that the skulls develop in the same order as those of today's crocodiles, chickens, turtles and lizards. The findings are published today in Scientific Reports. (2020-04-09)

Here be dragons: Analysis reveals new species in Smaug lizard group
Smaug, the deadly dragon in J.R.R Tolkien's 'The Hobbit,' has a newly discovered living relative. With dense, alligator-like armor, this small, real-life dragon lizard, Smaug swazicus, is a rock-crevice recluse confined to mountaintops in southern Africa. (2020-03-25)

Discovery of smallest known mesozoic dinosaur reveals new species in bird evolution
The discovery of a small, bird-like skull, described in an article in Nature, reveals a new species, Oculudentavis khaungraae, that could represent the smallest known Mesozoic dinosaur in the fossil record. Lars Schmitz, associate professor of biology at the W.M. Keck Science Department, and a team of international researchers discovered the specimen, which provides new implications for understanding the evolution of birds, demonstrating the extreme miniaturization of avian body sizes early in the evolutionary process. (2020-03-11)

Hot time in the city: Urban lizards evolve heat tolerance
Faced with a gritty landscape of metal fences, concrete walls and asphalt pavement, city lizards in Puerto Rico rapidly and repeatedly evolved better tolerance for heat than their forest counterparts, according to new research from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of California, Los Angeles. Studies that delve into how animals adapt in urban environments are still relatively rare. But anoles are becoming a model system for urban evolutionary research. (2020-03-09)

Paleontology: Tiny prehistoric lizard sheds light on reptile evolution
The discovery of a new species of prehistoric reptile from Germany is reported this week in Scientific Reports. The anatomical features of the species, named Vellbergia bartholomaei, add to our understanding of the early evolution of lepidosauromorphs. (2020-02-20)

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