Chapter

Convergence

Wade C. Sherbrooke

in Introduction to Horned Lizards of North America

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780520228252
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926752 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520228252.003.0007
Convergence

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This chapter discusses convergent evolution, exemplified by the close genetic heritage of the horned lizards of the Iguanidae family and the Australian Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus) of the Agamidae family. Horned lizards resemble the Thorny Devil because both have independently evolved analogous adaptations for similar lifestyles in analogous environments. Both lizards also have similar size, spiny appearance, and strong, sharp horns and spines near the head to deter predators from swallowing them whole. They both live in open arid country, and employ similar camouflage patterns in the presence of danger.

Keywords: convergent evolution; horned lizards; Iguanidae; Australian Thorny Devil; Agamidae; camouflage

Chapter.  785 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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