Zoologger: The lizard that changes its intercourse to accommodate the weather

Zoologger: The lizard that changes its intercourse to accommodate the weather

(Image: Arthur Georges)

Zoologger is our column that is weekly highlighting pets – and occasionally other organisms – from about the planet

Species: The main beardie (Pogona vitticeps)Habitat: Arid woodlands and deserts in Central Australia

If you can’t stay the warmth, modification intercourse. Male lizards from Australia become super-fecund females in hot weather.


Increasing conditions may lead to a sex change avalanche that pushes populations – and perhaps the species that are entire towards a culture without adult men.

An embryo to develop as either a male or a female for some reptiles, such as many snakes and lizards, sex chromosomes trigger. For other individuals, including crocodiles, alligators and marine turtles, intercourse depends upon temperature, with extremes generally resulting in more females, possibly by inhibiting male genes.

Bearded dragons reveal a 3rd method – a type of evolutionary change involving the two.

Like us, they usually have sex chromosomes. For them it is a Z and a W. Having ZZ chromosomes usually makes a male, and ZW a lady. However if male eggs are confronted with conditions over 32 °C, this logic gets overridden. And even though their chromosomes are telling them become male, the heat makes many ZZ embryos develop as females.

We knew this from lab experiments, nonetheless it ended up beingn’t clear whether it took place in the crazy or what impact it had.

“No one knew whether this is likely to subscribe to the people, or it gets hot, ” says Clare Holleley from the University of Canberra, Australia if it was just some freaky weird thing that happens when.

So Holleley and her group attempted to learn.

Intercourse switchers

Their task was made easier by the reality that main dragons that are bearded perhaps maybe maybe not timid. On hot times in main Australia, it’s quite common to see them basking into the sunlight or bobbing their minds on fence articles. Read more