Navigation Links
Getting a tail up on conservation?
Date:9/1/2010

Lizards are an important indicator species for understanding the condition of specific ecosystems. Their body weight is a crucial index for evaluating species health, but lizards are seldom weighed, perhaps due in part to the recurring problem of spontaneous tail loss when lizards are in stress.

Now ecological researchers have a better way of evaluating these lizards. Dr. Shai Meiri of Tel Aviv University's Department of Zoology has developed an improved tool for translating lizard body lengths to weights. Dr. Meiri's new equations calculate this valuable morphological feature to estimate the weight of a lizard species in a variety of different ecosystems.

"Body shape and body size are hugely important for the understanding of multiple ecological phenomena, but there is a need for a common metric to compare a multitude of different species," he says.

Building a lizard data bank

In a study published recently in the Journal of Zoology, Dr. Meiri evaluated hundreds of lizard species: long-bodied, legless species as well as stout, long-legged species; some that sit and wait for prey, others that are active foragers. Based on empirical evidence, such as well-established behavioral traits, he built a statistical model that could predict weights of lizards in a reliable, standardized manner, for use in the field or at the lab.

For the study, Dr. Meiri looked at a large sample of lizards 900 species in 28 different families and generated a dataset of lizard weights, using this dataset to develop formulae that derive body weights from the most commonly used size index for lizards (the length of the head and body, or "snoutvent length"). He then applied a species-level evolutionary hypothesis to examine the ecological factors that affect variation in weightlength relationships between different species.

Predicting post-disaster damage to the environment

How can this standardized metric protect our environment? "It can help answer how lizard species may react if there were major shifts in the availability of food due to climactic changes," he says.

In the future, zoologists will be able to use Dr. Meiri's method to better predict which communities of animals will shrink, grow or adapt to changing conditions, even after massive environmental disasters like the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Getting warmer? Prehistoric climate can help forecast future changes
2. Many middle-aged and older Americans not getting adequate nutrition
3. Getting into hot water
4. Getting down to cancer basics
5. Getting to the root of science in a nutty way
6. Getting plants to rid themselves of pesticide residues
7. Getting a leg up on whale and dolphin evolution
8. Getting down to details
9. Most patients gain weight after getting a new knee, UD study finds
10. Poor in rural Oregon face double binds when getting food
11. Getting turned on
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/26/2017)... 26, 2017  Acuity Market Intelligence today released ... Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 as a "breakout" ... adoption reflects a new understanding of the potential ... and digital identity are often perceived as threats ... , Principal of Acuity Market intelligence. "However, taken ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... 2017  It sounds simple and harmless—an electronic ... vital signs and alerts parents on their smart ... level drops. But pediatric experts argue that such ... no evidence of medical benefits, especially to healthy ... to parents of healthy babies, promising peace of ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... India , January 19, 2017 According to a ... Opportunities and Forecast, 2014 - 2022," the global biometric sensor market is expected ... 2016 to 2022. In 2015, Asia-Pacific dominated the global ... and private sectors. Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... -- China Biologic Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO) ("China Biologic" or ... China, today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter ... 2016 Financial Highlights Total sales in ... terms, or increased by 13.6% in USD terms to $77.6 ... Gross profit increased by 13.3% to $46.8 ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Discovery Services portfolio to include an array of biochemical analyses critical for ... data to drive their hit-to-lead and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and selectivity, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017  Imanis Life Sciences announced today the ... vaccinia viruses for virotherapy research. These viruses are ... proprietary, vaccinia virus-based technology platform for research use. ... a partnership with Genelux to offer researchers, for ... use in research," said Dr. Kah Whye ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... , ... The Greater Gift Initiative, Inc , (GGI) a Winston-Salem, NC ... GGI's mission is to advance global health and highlight the greater good of clinical ... each clinical trial volunteer. The vision of GGI is to serve as a philanthropic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: