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:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 ... market research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology (Pattern ... and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), by ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected ... USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... 2016 Nigeria . ... than 23,000 public service employees either did not exist ... salary unlawfully.    --> Nigeria ... more than 23,000 public service employees either did not ... their salary unlawfully.    --> DERMALOG, the ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... 3, 2016  2016FLEX, organized by FlexTech, a ... advancements in flexible, hybrid and printed electronics. More ... - have gathered for short courses, technical session, ... electronics. The Flex Conference celebrates its 15 th ... R&D organizations, and universities contributing to the adoption ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... StarNet Communications Corp, ( http://www.starnet.com/ ) a leading publisher of remote Linux and ... its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely ... encrypted SSH. , Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... 29, 2016 According to ... Research "Separation Systems for Commercial Biotechnology Market - ... Forecast 2015 - 2023", the separation systems for ... Mn in 2014 and is projected to expand ... 2023 to reach US$ 19,227.8 Mn in 2023. ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... PUNE, India , April 28, 2016 ... PT, JT, Stirling, and Brayton Cryocoolers), Service (Technical Support, ... Application, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... to USD 2.94 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR ... Browse 70 market data Tables and 94 Figures spread ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... an open house for regional manufacturers at its Maple Grove, Minnesota technical center, ... Hardinge Group, Chiron and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading suppliers of tooling, accessories, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: