Blue Tongue Lizard Temperature Adaptations

Published: 2021-06-17 19:55:05
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Category: Adaptation

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Ectotherms are “cold-blooded” animals such as reptiles, amphibians, insects, fish and worm. These animals rely on the outside environment for their body heat as they do not generate heat internally like a mammal or bird. Ectotherms have a variety of adaptations, many of them behavioural, to regulate their body temperature and keep it within the range in which they can be active; 10-30oC The Tiliqua or more commonly known as the blue-tongue lizard or just Blue tongue is the largest member of the skink family in Australia.
There are six species of blue-tongued lizards or skinks in Australia. -Common or Eastern Blue-tongue Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides) -Northern Blue-tongued Skink (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia) -Western blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua occipitalis) -Central blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua multifasciata) -Blotched Blue-tongue (Tiliqua nigrolutea) -Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa) -Pygmy Blue-tongue Skink (Tiliqua adelaidensis) Blue-tongue Lizards are found throughout most of Australia. Blue-tongues usually live in open country with lots of cover such as tall grasses, litter and low shrubs.
They shelter at night among these covers, in burrows and under large objects on the ground such as rocks and logs. There are three main temperature adaptations that a blue tongue lizard has to maintain its temperature. Blue tongues lie in a sunny spot with their body flattened and turned side-on to the side on a cool morning. This way it absorbs heat more quickly to get its body temperature high enough to become active and is only active when their body temperature is above 30oC and below 35oC.
Secondly, as the day becomes hotter, the lizard will turn facing the sun to absorb less heat, and seek shade to avoid the potential of over-heating And lastly, during cold weather they mostly remain inactive, buried deep in their shelter sites. To avoid over heating they move into shades or burrows to cool down from the rising temperature. The temperature in their shelters is fairly constant, which enables the lizard to cool down.

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