Chapter

Escaping 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/9780520234017.003.0004
Escaping Predators

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Finding and capturing food requires activity, and to capture prey, lizards expose themselves to predators. Predation can occur during any life history stage, but predators are most likely to go for eggs and juveniles. This chapter discusses field observations on predation events that provide insights into how lizards deal with predators. It describes several predator escape mechanisms, including, cryptic coloration; armor; alertness and high running speeds; mimicry, scratching, biting and aggressive displays; tail autotomy; skin loss; and bad-tasting blood.

Keywords: prey; predators; predation; escape mechanisms; cryptic coloration; mimicry; tail autotomy; skin loss

Chapter.  11229 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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