Other

Python venom traces could waste antivenom

A University of Queensland researcher has found the potential for Australian doctors to prescribe expensive antivenom to snake bite victims who don't need it.

Medical research

Point way to human regeneration

Any kid who pulls on a lizard tail knows it can drop off to avoid capture, but how they regrow a new tail remains a mystery.  Now, researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Arizona State University ...

Neuroscience

Drugs from lizard saliva reduces the cravings for food

A drug made from the saliva of the Gila monster lizard is effective in reducing the craving for food. Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have tested the drug on rats, who after treatment ceased ...

Medical research

Owls and lizards lend their ears for human hearing research

Lizards and owls are some of the animal species that can help us to better understand hearing loss in humans, according to new research out of York University's Department of Physics & Astronomy in the Faculty of Science.

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Lizard

Many, see text.

Lizards are a very large and widespread group of squamate reptiles, with nearly 5,000 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica as well as most oceanic island chains. The group, traditionally recognized as the suborder Lacertilia, is defined as all extant members of the Lepidosauria (reptiles with overlapping scales) which are neither sphenodonts (i.e., Tuatara) nor snakes. While the snakes are recognized as falling phylogenetically within the anguimorph lizards from which they evolved, the sphenodonts are the sister group to the squamates, the larger monophyletic group which includes both the lizards and the snakes.

Lizards typically have limbs and external ears, while snakes lack both these characteristics. However, because they are defined negatively as excluding snakes, lizards have no unique distinguishing characteristic as a group. Lizards and snakes share a movable quadrate bone, distinguishing them from the sphenodonts which have a more primitive and solid diapsid skull. Many lizards can detach their tails in order to escape from predators, an act called autotomy, but this trait is not universal. Vision, including color vision, is particularly well developed in most lizards, and most communicate with body language or bright colors on their bodies as well as with pheromones. The adult length of species within the suborder ranges from a few centimeters for some chameleons and geckos to nearly three meters (9 feet, 6 inches) in the case of the largest living varanid lizard, the Komodo Dragon. Some extinct varanids reached great size. The extinct aquatic mosasaurs reached 17.5 meters, and the giant monitor Megalania prisca is estimated to have reached perhaps seven meters.

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