Lizards will roast in a warming world

Global warming threatens the survival of reptiles

source New Scientist 21 Feb 2009 vol 201 no 2696 p11

Cold-blooded animals, such as reptiles, cannot produce heat, so migrate to cooler or warmer areas as a way to staying alive. Temperatures above 4 deg C can kill ectotherms, which prefer body temperatures from 30 to 35 deg C. A team led by Michael Kearney from Australia's Melbourne University, modelled expected changes in temperature, and found that temperature rises of 3 deg C in the shade could lead to ectotherm body temperatures of more than 40 deg C in tropical deserts in Australia. Ectotherms can take refuge in burrows, but the excess heat may still affect feeding and reproduction.