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Research on lizards is helping to establish a new and more versatile paradigm for ecology, challenging long-held precepts that were derived largely from studies of “high-energy” species such as birds. This book demonstrates very clearly why lizards may well be challenging birds as the model organism in ecology.
Lizard Ecology contains the work of twenty-nine distinguished contributors, tightly edited into three sections covering physiological ecology, behavioral ecology, and population and community ecology. Part I discusses the ecological and behavioral significance of activity metabolism, the dynamics of energy flow, the effects of malaria on physiology and reproduction, and how the biophysical environment influences activity and distribution. Part II contains an analysis of the adaptive zone and behavior of lizards and examines the significance of chemoreception, the establishment and maintenance of territories, the interactions of sexual selection and territoriality, and the psychobiology of parthenogenesis. Part III evaluates patterns of life history, the relationship between niche overlap and interspecific competition, whether temporal differences in activity reduce dietary overlap, the effects of sympatry on patterns of body size, the predictability of adaptive radiations, and the integration of coevolutionary theory with biogeography.