Reproduction and Life History

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:
Reproduction and Life History

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This chapter discusses reproduction in lizards. It begins by discussing seasonal cycles in lizard reproduction and then examines fecundity and egg and offspring size. Reproductive strategies in lizards range from early-maturing, short-lived, high-fecundity, egg-laying species with low parental investment (small offspring), to long-lived, late-maturing, low-fecundity, live-bearing species with high parental investment (large offspring). The chapter also examines reproductive-related activities and their costs. Risky behavior used by a territorial male to attract females or maintain his status is one cost of reproduction, just as diverting energy into producing and looking after eggs is for females. Females that cannot perform as well (e.g., run as fast) while burdened with eggs must pay a cost in diminished ability to respond effectively to predators.

Keywords: reproduction; fecundity; egg; offspring; egg-laying; predators

Chapter.  8072 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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