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Bearded dragons change color on different body parts for social signals and temperature regulation
New research shows that bearded dragons are able to partition color change to specific body parts, depending on whether they are responding to temperature or communicating with other lizards. (2016-06-08)

Climate change may have little impact on tropical lizards
A new Dartmouth College study finds human-caused climate change may have little impact on many species of tropical lizards, contradicting a host of recent studies that predict their widespread extinction in a rapidly warming planet. (2013-05-16)

Lizards show evolution is predictable
If you could hit the reset button on evolution and start over, would essentially the same species appear? Yes, according to a study of Caribbean lizards. (2013-07-18)

Anatomy determines how lizards attract partners and repel rivals
Catching the attention of females in a darkened rainforest amid a blur of windblown vegetation is no easy task. But male Anolis lizards on the island of Jamaica have evolved an ideal visual technique. A UNSW-study now solves the mystery of why their close relatives on the neighboring island of Puerto Rico do not adopt the same strategy. The study, led by UNSW's Dr. Terry Ord, is published in the journal Functional Ecology. (2013-06-03)

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)

Having stressed out ancestors improves immune response to stress
Having ancestors who were frequently exposed to stressors can improve one's own immune response to stressors, according to Penn State researchers. The results suggest that family history should be considered to predict or understand the health implications of stress. (2019-01-22)

Two new iguanid lizard species from the Laja Lagoon, Chile
A team of Chilean scientists discover two new species of iguanid lizards from the Laja Lagoon, Chile. The two new species are believed to have been long confused with other representatives of the elongatus-kriegi lizard complex, before recent morphological and genetic analysis diagnosed them as separate. The study was published in the 500th issue of the open-access journal ZooKeys. (2015-04-27)

Adaptable lizards illustrate key evolutionary process proposed a century ago
Side-blotched lizards in most of the Mojave Desert have tan and brown markings that blend in well with their desert surroundings. On the Pisgah Lava Flow, however, one finds a very different population of side-blotched lizards, as black as the rocks they live on. How do animals invade new environments? Light-colored lizards on a lava flow should be easy picking for predators, so how did they survive long enough to evolve darker coloration? (2018-09-06)

Lizards shout against a noisy background to get points across
Male Anole lizards signal ownership of their territory by sitting up on a tree trunk, bobbing their heads up and down and extending a colorful throat pouch. (2007-02-23)

Pressured by predators, lizards see rapid shift in natural selection
Countering the widespread view of evolution as a process played out over the course of eons, evolutionary biologists have shown that natural selection can turn on a dime -- within months -- as a population's needs change. In a study of island lizards exposed to a new predator, the scientists found that natural selection dramatically changed direction over a very short time, within a single generation, favoring first longer and then shorter hind legs. (2006-11-16)

Lizard moms choose the right genes for the right gender offspring
Brown anole lizards make an interesting choice when deciding which males should father their offspring. The females of this species mate with several males, then produce more sons with sperm from large fathers, and more daughters with sperm from smaller fathers. The researchers believe that the lizards do this to ensure that the genes from large fathers are passed on to sons, who stand to benefit from inheriting the genes for large size. (2010-03-04)

Tiny chameleons discovered in Madagascar
Four new species of miniaturized lizards have been identified in Madagascar. (2012-02-15)

Love's labors: Study shows male lizards risk becoming lunch for a bird to attract a mate
New research shows male lizards are more likely than females to be attacked by predators because the bright colors they need to attract a mate also make them more conspicuous to birds. (2015-09-22)

Wall lizard becomes accustomed to humans and stops hiding
Habituating to predators or fleeing and hiding are tactics that vary between species. Scientists from two research centers in Italy and Spain have observed that adult male common wall lizards sharing their living spaces with humans become accustomed to them and hide less when humans approach them. Yellow lizards were the most 'daring.' (2017-03-27)

Lizard hunting styles impact ability to walk, run
The technique lizards use to grab their grub influences how they move, according to researchers at Ohio University. (2008-04-21)

For horned lizard, horns alone do not make the species
Counting the horns of California's horned lizard, or coast horned lizard, is one way to try to distinguish separate species, but a new study shows that to be unreliable. UC Berkeley and USGS biologists considered genetic, morphological and ecological data to separate the species into three, ranging from Baja to Northern California. (2009-07-21)

Long lost monitor lizard 're-discovered' on Papua New Guinean island
Scientists have recently found and re-described a monitor lizard species from the island of New Ireland in northern Papua New Guinea. It is the only large-growing animal endemic to the island that has survived until modern times. The lizard, Varanus douarrha, was already discovered in the early 19th century, but the type specimen never reached the museum where it was destined as it appears to have been lost in a shipwreck. (2017-05-02)

Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs also wiped out the 'Obamadon'
The asteroid collision widely thought to have killed the dinosaurs also led to extreme devastation among snake and lizard species, according to new research -- including the extinction of a newly identified lizard Yale and Harvard scientists have named Obamadon gracilis. (2012-12-10)

Nice guys do finish first in lizards' evolutionary race, says MSU professor
Getting beaten up by the neighborhood bully so your buddy can get some tail may seem like a rough life, but it not only works for some lizards, it also gives a fascinating peek into hard-wired altruism in evolutionary biology. An article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides the first genetic evidence of a trait that animals recognize and use - even if that trait seems on the surface to be counterproductive. (2006-05-02)

Scientists look at those in evolutionary race who don't make it 'out of the gate'
In the race of evolution, scientists until now have only looked at winners and losers. Now, they've come up with a way to look at the contenders who never made it out of the gate. It's the organisms that die early in life, before scientists can assess what they might bring to the reproduction game, and that have gone uncounted in the effort to quantify genetic fitness. This group has been dubbed the (2008-01-22)

Why do cold animals make bigger babies?
Reproduction involves a critical decision: Should an organism invest energy in a few large offspring or many small ones? In a new study from the American Naturalist, biologists used a new statistical approach that can test multiple theories at the same time, an approach they hope will shed light on many evolutionary problems. They used data from many populations of Eastern Fence Lizards (Sceloporus undulatus), which revealed that the lizards in colder environments produce larger offspring than lizards in warmer environments. (2006-10-02)

Global survey of lizards reveals greater abundance of animals on islands than on mainland ecosystems
A comprehensive survey of lizards on islands around the world has confirmed what island biologists and seafaring explorers have long observed: animals on islands are much more abundant than their counterparts on the mainland. (2007-05-01)

Iowa State University researcher's work on gender, temperature link in reptiles published in Nature
Research shows the temperatures at which jacky dragons were born was the best climate for each of the two genders. (2008-01-22)

Giant killer lizard fossil shines new light on early Australians
As if life wasn't hard enough during the last Ice Age, research led by the University of Queensland has found Australia's first human inhabitants had to contend with giant killer lizards. UQ vertebrate palaeoecologist Dr. Gilbert Price said researchers working in Central Queensland were amazed when they unearthed the first evidence that Australia's early human inhabitants and giant apex predator lizards had overlapped. (2015-09-23)

Tropical lizards can't take the heat of climate warming
Lizards living in tropical forests in Central and South America and the Caribbean could be in serious peril from rising temperatures associated with climate change. In fact, those forest lizards appear to tolerate a much narrower range of survivable temperatures than do their relatives at higher latitudes and are actually less tolerant of high temperatures, according to a University of Washington biologist. (2009-03-03)

UCLA study sheds new light on island evolution
Evolution of genetically distinct species that live exclusively on land can be slowed by over-water dispersal following tropical storms, according to a UCLA study. Lizards long thought to be evolving independently on Caribbean Islands in fact exchange genetic material, suggesting classic theories of island evolution need an overhaul. (2003-12-03)

Family ties bind desert lizards in social groups
Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have found that a species of lizard in the Mojave Desert lives in family groups and shows patterns of social behavior more commonly associated with mammals and birds. Their investigation of the formation and stability of family groups in desert night lizards provides new insights into the evolution of cooperative behavior. (2010-10-06)

The color of people's clothing affects lizard escape behavior
The color of T-shirts people wear affects escape behavior in western fence lizards, according to a study published Aug. 9, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Breanna Putman from University of California, Los Angeles and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, US, and colleagues. (2017-08-09)

Florida lizards evolve rapidly, within 15 years and 20 generations
Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species -- in as little as 15 years -- as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba. (2014-10-23)

Lizards adapt to invasive fire ants, reversing geographical patterns of lizard traits
Some lizards in the eastern U.S. have adapted to invasive fire ants--which can bite, sting, and kill lizards--reversing geographical trends in behavioral and physical traits used to avoid predators. (2018-11-29)

Ancestor of snakes, lizards likely gave birth to live young
The ancestor of snakes and lizards likely gave birth to live young, rather than laid eggs, and over time species have switched back and forth in their preferred reproductive mode, according to research published in print in Ecology Letters Dec. 17. (2013-12-17)

Scientists discover where snakes lived when they evolved into limbless creatures
The mystery of where Earth's first snakes lived as they were evolving into limbless creatures from their lizard ancestors has intrigued scientists for centuries. Now, the first study ever to analyze genes from all the living families of lizards has revealed that snakes made their debut on the land, not in the ocean. The discovery resolves a long-smoldering debate among biologists about whether snakes had a terrestrial or a marine origin. (2004-01-30)

Showing off your weapons in the animal kingdom
From crabs raising their claws to baboons gaping their jaws, displays that advertise weapons are widespread across the animal kingdom. But do threat displays simply indicate an impending attack, or do they convey specific information about the weapons that they advertise? Moreover, do such displays convey the physical capacity to wound a rival more accurately than other cues, such as body size? (2006-06-20)

Lizard study finds global warming data not enough to predict animal extinction
Current models used to predict the survival of species in a warming world might be off target because they ignore the spatial distribution of shade. (2016-09-05)

George Washington University biologist maps the family tree of all known snake and lizard groups
A George Washington University biologist and a team of researchers have created the first large-scale evolutionary family tree for every snake and lizard around the globe. (2013-05-08)

New fossils shed light on how snakes got their bite and lost their legs
New fossils of an ancient legged snake, called Najash, shed light on the origin of the slithering reptiles. The fossil discoveries published in Science Advances have revealed they possessed hind legs during the first 70 million years of their evolution. They also provide details about how the flexible skull of snakes evolved from their lizard ancestors. (2019-11-20)

Global warming threatens tropical species, the ecosystem and its by-products
Tropical lizards detect the effects of global warming in a climate where the smallest change makes a big difference, according to herpetologist Laurie Vitt, curator of reptiles and George Lynn Cross Research Professor at the University of Oklahoma's Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. Climate change caused by global warming threatens the very existence of these and other tropical species, the ecosystem and its by-products, Vitt maintains. (2009-08-25)

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)

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)

'Lizard King' fossil shows giant reptiles coexisted with mammals during globally warm past
At nearly six feet long and weighing upwards of 60 pounds, (2013-06-04)

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