Too much sun killing off lizards
Published 14/05/2010 | 05:00
THEY HAVE been around since the time of the dinosaurs and have in the past survived several global mass extinctions of species, but now lizards are at serious risk of disappearing from the face of the Earth as a result of climate change, US scientists said yesterday.
An international study has found that as many as 20pc of the 3,800 species of lizards could be extinct by 2080 if global temperatures continue as predicted. In some parts of the world, 12pc of the lizard populations have already disappeared.
Lizards, which include geckos, iguanas and chameleons, are often referred to as cold-blooded creatures but in fact their body temperature rises and falls with their exterior environment. They have to bask in the sun to raise their body temperature, and seek shade when it gets too warm.
Scientists fear that, in many parts of the world, temperatures have become too warm for lizards to be able to stay out during the hottest part of the day to catch food, causing them to weaken and die.(©Independent News Service, London)