How Cool Can Lizards Be?


Master’s student Daniel Haro, in collaboration with Dr. Gregory Pauly (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles) and Dr. Russell Burke (Hofstra University), investigated the effects of cold acclimation on two non-native populations of the Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis siculus). He measured the effects of laboratory cold acclimation on thermal tolerance, thermal preference, evaporative water loss, and standard metabolic rates. Preliminary results indicate that lizards from the New York population are more adapted to a varying thermal climate, compared to lizards from the California population. This study highlights the need to incorporate plasticity (i.e., the ability to adapt within an individual’s lifetime) into theory and experiments investigating potentially adaptive traits.