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Relation between dehydration and variability in the consuption of plant material in Tropidurus catalanensis (Squamata, Tropiduridae)

Grant number: 18/16702-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2018
Effective date (End): November 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Physiology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Carlos Arturo Navas Iannini
Grantee:Danilo Camargo Fernandes
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The genus Tropidurus (Squamata, Tropiduridae) consists of heliotrophic lizards, , usually abundant within the area of distribution. They are considered generalists and opportunistic (sit and wait) predators. Their diet includes mainly arthropods, and eventual ingestion of vertebrates and plant material. The proportions of the plant material found in the guts of these lizards tend to vary among species, populations of the same species and individuals. Studies have hypothesized that environmental factors (e.g. low density of arthropods and dehydration) may be responsible for this variation among populations. Herein, we pretend to test the hypothesis that the ingestion of plant material rich in water, increases with dehydration, using as model organisms individuals of Tropidurus catalanensis. Our results may explain why the populations from dry environments exhibit a higher consumption of plant matter in comparison to other populations from habitats with more humidity. The implications of such discovery may provide new insights on the evolution of herbivory in lizards.