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First warm-blooded lizards switch on mystery heat

Dr Deepak | 01/28/2016

Argentinian black and white tegu  (Salvator merianae), a 60-90-centimetre-long lizard that lives across much of South America. As expected, for much of the year it cooled down when the sun set, reaching a low similar to that of its burrow between about 4 and 6am. The surprise came when the lizards reached the reproductive time of the year, from September to December. During the cold early hours of the morning in that season, their breathing and heart rates rose and their temperatures reached as much as 10 °C above those of their burrows. The discovery was so unexpected that the scientists took a further three years to confirm it, says Tattersall. “We would expect them to be as cold as they possibly could be at that time,” he says.

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  • First warm-blooded lizards switch on mystery heat

    Dr Deepak | 01/28/2016

    Argentinian black and white tegu  (Salvator merianae), a 60-90-centimetre-long lizard that lives across much of South America. As expected, for much of the year it cooled down when the sun set, reaching a low similar to that of its burrow between about 4 and 6am. The surprise came when the liza...More

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