Behavior And Reproduction
Although this family has at least 175 species, their small size and tendency to remain hidden has helped to keep much of their behavior a secret from scientists. Some have, however, been seen wandering along the forest floor and along the shores of streams and swamps looking for insects to eat. When they feel threatened by an attacker, they will run to the water, where they dive in and swim off. Many have flattened tails, which help them swim quickly through the water. Unlike most other lizards, which sunbathe, or bask, out in the open during the day to warm their bodies, the microteiid lizards apparently do not. Instead, some appear to heat up their bodies by finding a sunny spot and crawling under leaves there.
Those species that have been studied are all egg layers, and scientists believe that the females only have one or two young at a time but lay eggs more than once a year. Some of the species are all female, which means that they can and do have babies without mating with males. Species that do this are called parthenogenic (PAR-thih-no-JEH-nik). This is rather unusual among lizards and among other vertebrates (VER-teh-brehts), which are mammals, birds, and other animals with backbones. Most vertebrates require that a female and male mate before the female becomes pregnant. In the microteiid lizards, however, a female can become pregnant without ever seeing a male and produces babies that are her exact duplicates. Such exact duplicates are called clones.
- Microteiids: Gymnophthalmidae - No Common Name (bachia Bresslaui): Species Account
- Microteiids: Gymnophthalmidae - Physical Characteristics
- Other Free Encyclopedias
Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesMicroteiids: Gymnophthalmidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, No Common Name (bachia Bresslaui): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, MICROTEIIDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS