Chapter

Lizards as Predators

Eric R. Pianka and Laurie J. Vitt

in Lizards

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780520234017
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939912 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520234017.003.0003
Lizards as Predators

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Striking variation exists among lizards in the kinds of things they eat. A few lizards are herbivorous, most feed on other animals and swallow them whole, and insectivorous lizards attack dozens if not hundreds of insects each day. This chapter discusses the diets of lizards and explains why lizards eat what they eat, starting with the Iguania and moving across the lizard phylogeny. Lizard diets are quite diverse. Most species eat a variety of invertebrates, with the particular mix of prey varying from species to species. Larger lizards feed on larger prey, and many take vertebrates as well as invertebrates. Herbivory occurs in several lizard families, the most spectacular development of herbivory being in the Iguaninae.

Keywords: herbivorous; insectivorous lizards; diets; Iguania; phylogeny; herbivory; Iguaninae

Chapter.  10579 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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