Lizards and Humans

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:
Lizards and Humans

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This chapter discusses the importance of lizards and their role in human culture, art, and folklore. Lizards have been woven into human culture throughout our evolutionary history. Lizards, most likely iguanas and spiny-tailed iguanas, were sacrificed in some Mayan rituals and thus held special significance. The Anasazi, Hohokam, Mimbres, and Mogollon Native American cultures used horned lizard images on pottery, petroglyphs, effigy bowls, figures, and shells. The chapter also discusses the collection, exportation, or sale of lizards and the impact of large-scale harvesting in the long term. Finally, the chapter discusses efforts to protect and conserve endangered lizards.

Keywords: culture; medicine; art; folklore; iguanas; Mayan rituals; Native American cultures; endangered lizards

Chapter.  10612 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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