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Thermoregulatory behaviour in two species of iguanid lizards (Crotaphytus collaris andSauromalus obesus): diel variation and the effect of pinealectomy


Thermal selection by collared lizards (Crotaphytus collaris) and chuckawallas (Sauromalus obesus) was studied in continuously operating laboratory thermal gradients in a 12L∶12D photoperiod in spring-summer. In both species, selected temperatures above the median were higher during the day than at night. Below the median selected temperature, however, nighttime temperature significantly exceeded daytime temperature in chuckawallas but not in collared lizards. Pinealectomized collared lizards selected significantly lower temperatures than sham-operated or intact controls. This effect was most pronounced at night. Pinealectomy had no effect on the temperatures selected by chuckawallas. The significance of these results is discussed in relation to the seasonal life-history strategy of these two species.

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Firth, B.T., Turner, J.S. & Ralph, C.L. Thermoregulatory behaviour in two species of iguanid lizards (Crotaphytus collaris andSauromalus obesus): diel variation and the effect of pinealectomy. J Comp Physiol B 159, 13–20 (1989).

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Key words

  • Daily rhythm
  • Lizard
  • Pinealectomy
  • Thermoregulation