The future's bright for warmer lizards

Global warming may help lizards by boosting their cognitive abilities

source: New Scientist vol 213 no 2847, January 14 2012 p15

Researchers from Sydney University, Australia, have found that lizards hatched from eggs incubated at warm temperatures learnt a task better than those incubated at cold temperatures. Scincid lizards grow bigger when they hatch from eggs incubated at higher temperatures. Joshua Amiel and team incubated nine eggs at between 8.5 deg C and 23.5 deg C, and 12 eggs at between 14.5 deg C and 29.5 deg C. The hatched lizards were placed in a container with two hideouts, one of which was inaccessible, being blocked with a transparent material. The researchers touched the lizards' tails, and recorded where they went. After 16 trials, five of the cold-hatched lizards still went towards the inaccessible hideout, while only one of the warm-hatched lizards did this.