Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Lizard senses / communication

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Molly Varga

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History

  • Lizard behavior has been studied for over a century, and today many researchers use them to help learn about the fundamental questions of behavioral biology. For example, the diverse reproduction methods of lizards provide a wealth of information about mechanisms that may influence vertebrate reproductive behavior Lizard reproduction Lizard behavior problems.
  • Green iguanas, leopard geckos, bearded dragons, veiled chameleons and blue-tongued skinks have been bred in captivity for many generations, are common in the pet trade, and are frequently presented to veterinarians. Nevertheless, they are not domesticated because they are not fully adapted to life with humans and still retain the behaviors of wild conspecifics.
  • Each lizard species has adapted to survive in a specific ecosystem and microhabitat with complicated, unique variations and cycles of temperature, barometric pressure, altitude, vegetation, substrates, refuges, basking sites, predators, prey, lighting, humidity, rainfall and water.
  • Reptile caretakers must provide a captive environment that allows for expression of the behaviors exhibited in these complex environments Lizard husbandry.
  • At least 158 stereotyped communication-related behaviors have been described in lizards. These normal behaviors can be grouped into categories, of which agonistic, courtship and mating behaviors have been best described.
  • Captive lizards will exhibit the behaviors of their wild relatives when provided with the appropriate environment.
  • Lizard behavior is influenced by external factors, however, and individual animals do modify their behavior in response to environmental stimuli.

Senses / communication

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Hearing

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Visual communication

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Chemosensory system / glands and glandular secretions

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Scent

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Gibbons P M & Mohan-Gibbons H (2010) Lizards. In: Behavior of Exotic Pets. Ed: Tynes V V. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 44-56.

Reproduced with permission from Valerie V Tynes: Behavior of Exotic Pets © 2010, published by John Wiley & Sons.


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