Trivia question for Jun-07-2011
Carter thought he saw one of these the other day but he wasn’t sure. As we researched what types of lizard it might have been, he stopped at this one and decided to make it his trivia. Let us know if you have ever seen one. These guys are extremely fast lizards with long tails and well-developed legs.
These lizards can be distinguished from other lizards by the following characteristics: they have large rectangular scales that form distinct transverse rows ventrally and generally small granular scales dorsally, they have head scales that are separate from the skull bones, and their teeth are solid at the base and “glued” to the jaw bones. Additionally, all of these lizards have a forked, snake-like tongue. They all possess well-developed limbs.
These lizards are all terrestrial and diurnal, and are primarily carnivorous or insectivorous, although some will include a small amount of plant matter in their diet. They all lay eggs, with some species laying very large clutches.
So here are Carter’s questions: Tell us what kind of lizard this is and what is so special about how they breed. Also, tell us why this particular species can not evolve over time like other species can?
Good Luck 😉
Congratulations goes out to Deborah Chad for answering our trivia correctly. The Lizard we featured is the Teiidae or Whiptail Lizard. Teiidae is a family of lizards native to the Americas, generally known as whiptails. The group includes the parthenogenic genera Cnemidophorus and Aspidoscelis, and the non-parthenogenic Tupinambis. It has over 230 member species in ten genera.
Certain species of whiptail lizards have all-female or nearly all-female populations. These lizards reproduce by parthenogenesis, and research has shown that simulated mating behavior increases fertility. For instance, one female lies on top of another, engaging in pseudocopulation. When they lay eggs, the lizard that was on bottom has larger eggs while the one on top has smaller. The lizards switch off this role each mating season. The offspring are genetic clones of the mother, sparking debate that these lizards never being able to evolve or adapt to the environment. Here is more on these guys: Teiidae
Thanks for playing along 😉