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LizardsWindows to the Evolution of Diversity$
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Eric Pianka

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234017

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234017.001.0001

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(p.142) (p.143) Chapter 8 Iguanians

Eric R. Pianka

Laurie J. Vitt

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the morphology, phylogenetic relationships, distribution, and evolutionary history of iguanians. The Iguania is the sister taxon to all other lizards and contains three families: Iguanidae, Agamidae, and Chamaeleonidae. Included are some of the most bizarre lizards, the true chameleons of Africa and Madagascar. Chameleons are adorned with often striking morphological ornamentation, and their behavioral antics are right in line with other iguanians. All Iguania exhibit an ancestral condition shared with the tuatara: a fleshy tongue and lingual prehension of small prey.

Keywords:   morphology, phylogenetic relationships, evolutionary history, iguanians, Iguania, Iguanidae, Agamidae, Chamaeleonidae, chameleon, tuatara

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