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A Journal of Integrative Biology Effects of Incubation Temperature on Growth

Summary: A Journal of Integrative Biology
Effects of Incubation Temperature on Growth
and Performance of the Veiled Chameleon
(Chamaeleo calyptratus)
Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University, Blacksburg, Virginia
ABSTRACT I evaluated the effect of incubation temperature on phenotypes of the veiled
chameleon, Chamaeleo calyptratus. I chose this species for study because its large clutch size (30­40
eggs or more) allows replication within clutches both within and among experimental treatments.
The major research objectives were (1) to assess the effect of constant low, moderate, and high
temperatures on embryonic development, (2) to determine whether the best incubation temperature
for embryonic development also produced the ``best'' hatchlings, and (3) to determine how a change
in incubation temperature during mid-development would affect phenotype. To meet these
objectives, I established five experimental temperature regimes and determined egg survival and
incubation length and measured body size and shape, selected body temperatures, and locomotory
performance of lizards at regular intervals from hatching to 90 d, or just before sexual maturity.
Incubation temperature affected the length of incubation, egg survival, and body mass, but did not
affect sprint speed or selected body temperature although selected body temperature affected growth
in mass independently of treatment and clutch. Incubation at moderate temperatures provided the


Source: Andrews, Robin - Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology