Laurie J. Vitt

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Biological impacts of climate warming are predicted to increase with latitude, paralleling increases in warming. However, the magnitude of impacts depends not only on the degree of warming but also on the number of species at risk, their physiological sensitivity to warming and their options for behavioural and physiological compensation. Lizards are useful(More)
Geckos in the Western Hemisphere provide an excellent model to study faunal assembly at a continental scale. We generated a time-calibrated phylogeny, including exemplars of all New World gecko genera, to produce a biogeographical scenario for the New World geckos. Patterns of New World gecko origins are consistent with almost every biogeographical scenario(More)
The superfamily Colubroidea (> 2500 species) includes the majority of snake species and is one of the most conspicuous and well-known radiations of terrestrial vertebrates. However, many aspects of the phylogeny of the group remain contentious, and dozens of genera have yet to be included in molecular phylogenetic analyses. We present a new, large-scale,(More)
The presence and extent of sexual dimorphisms in body form (size and shape) of adult macroteiid lizards were investigated. Males were significantly larger than females in the temperate species, Cnemidophorus tigris, and in the tropical species, Ameiva ameiva and C. ocellifer. Young adult C. tigris males grew faster than young adult females within and(More)
The structure of communities may be largely a result of evolutionary changes that occurred many millions of years ago. We explore the historical ecology of squamates (lizards and snakes), identify historically derived differences among clades, and examine how this history has affected present-day squamate assemblages globally. A dietary shift occurred in(More)
Reports of declining amphibian populations in many parts of the world are numerous, but supporting long-term census data are generally unavailable. Census data from 1979 to 1990 for three salamander species and one frog species at a breeding pond in South Carolina showed fluctuations of substantial magnitude in both the size of breeding populations and in(More)
We compared morphology of two geographically close populations of the tropical lizard Tropidurus hispidus to test the hypothesis that habitat structure influences the evolution of morphology and ecology at the population level. T. hispidus isolated on a rock outcrop surrounded by tropical forest use rock crevices for refuge and appear dorsoventrally(More)
Lizards and snakes putatively arose between the early Jurassic and late Triassic; they diversified worldwide and now occupy many different ecological niches, making them ideal for testing theories on the origin of ecological traits. We propose and test the "deep history hypothesis," which claims that differences in ecological traits among species arose(More)
Coleonyx variegatus is adapted to readily sacrifice its tail to predators. This adaptation is associated with characteristic tail behavior and rapid tail regeneration. There is no facultative metabolic increase associated with tail regeneration, and energy normally allocated to body growth and maintenance is diverted to tail regeneration. This supports the(More)
We present a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype phylogeny for Amazonian Anolis lizards, including geographical sampling within four species distributed across the Amazon basin (A. fuscoauratus, A. nitens, A. ortonii and A. punctatus). Approximately 1500 bp of mtDNA encoding ND2, COI and four transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are reported for 39 specimens representing(More)