A Global Review of Lizard Clutch Sizes

by Biologic Environmental Survey
in Blog
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In a new paper recently published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, Biologic Senior Zoologist Ryan Ellis and group of international collaborators presented the results of a global review of lizard clutch sizes and what influences their diversity and distribution.

 The paper, titled The global diversity and distribution of lizard clutch sizes found that lizards generally lay larger clutches at higher altitudes, and in more productive and seasonal environments, showing a similar pattern to that seen in birds. Species occurring at low altitudes and on islands tend to lay smaller fixed sized clutch sizes. Environmental influences such as temperature and precipitation was not shown to be related to clutch size overall. With the exception of Africa, these patterns were consistent across continents where lizards occur. In Africa however, clutch sizes were often larger at lower altitudes.

 This led the authors to suggest that shorter activity seasons and the abundance of resources were the main drivers for species evolving to produce larger clutches in higher altitude and highly seasonal regions, and that the occurrence of these conditions may also be unfavorable for, and therefore influence the limited distribution of, fixed-clutch species.

 For more information or a copy of the paper, please feel free to contact the Biologic Admin Team or Ryan directly.

Photo: A dinosaur like hatchling plain tree Gehyra (Gehyra gemina) emerges from its egg (R.J. Ellis).
Photo: A dinosaur like hatchling plain tree Gehyra (Gehyra gemina) emerges from its egg (R.J. Ellis).