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Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (1999), 67: 353376. With 4 figures Article ID: bijl.1998.0307, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
 

Summary: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (1999), 67: 353376. With 4 figures
Article ID: bijl.1998.0307, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
Cold climates and the evolution of viviparity
in reptiles: cold incubation temperatures
produce poor-quality offspring in the lizard,
Sceloporus virgatus
CARL P. QUALLS AND ROBIN M. ANDREWS
Department of Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg,
VA 24061, U.S.A.
Received 29 June 1998; accepted for publication 20 December 1998
Evolutionary origins of viviparity among the squamate reptiles are strongly associated with
cold climates, and cold environmental temperatures are thought to be an important selective
force behind the transition from egg-laying to live-bearing. In particular, the low nest
temperatures associated with cold climate habitats are thought to be detrimental to the
developing embryos or hatchlings of oviparous squamates, providing a selective advantage
for the retention of developing eggs in utero, where the mother can provide warmer incubation
temperatures for her eggs (by actively thermoregulating) than they would experience in a
nest. However, it is not entirely clear what detrimental effects cold incubation temperatures
may have on eggs and hatchlings, and what role these effects may play in favouring the
evolution of viviparity. Previous workers have suggested that viviparity may be favoured in

  

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

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology