•  
  •  
 

Eukaryon

Class Year

2007

Keywords

ectotherms, thermal sensitivity, Herpetology

Abstract

It is well known that activity, including sprint speed, is highly temperature dependent in ectothermic organisms. Because temperature changes across elevations, the wide elevational range of the lizard Sceloporus malachiticus in Costa Rica is an enigma. We tested thermal sensitivity of sprint speed in S. malachiticus from high (3500m) and low (2200m) elevation populations near Savegre Lodge in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica. To test the hypothesis that lizards from low elevations have narrower thermal envelopes than lizards at high elevations, we conducted temperature controlled sprint trials on noosed lizards from both elevations. Lizards from both populations performed comparably at ambient temperature; however, high elevation lizards were faster at both extremes suggesting phenotypic differences between populations which may be explained by genetic variation or phenotypic plasticity. Such studies are essential to understanding the fundamental processes underlying speciation and adaptation.

Disclaimer

Eukaryon is published by students at Lake Forest College, who are solely responsible for its content. The views expressed in Eukaryon do not necessarily reflect those of the College. Articles published within Eukaryon should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

Share

COinS