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HMC Undergraduate

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Biology (HMC)

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In the North American southwest, leopard lizards (genus Gambelia) are characteristically ground dwelling (Stebbins 2003. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 3rd ed., Houghton-Mifflin, New York. 533 pp.; Smith 1946. Handbook of Lizards, Comstock Publishing Co., Ithaca, New York. 557 pp.). In G. wislizenii, climbing is not mentioned in several substantive ecological studies of this species (Parker and Pianka 1976. Herpetologica 32:95-114; Tanner and Krogh 1974. Herpetologica 30:63-72), and to our knowledge, only a few seconds exist of climbing in this species. Clark (1974. Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci. 77:68) observed a G. wislizenii perched 30 cm off the ground in a shrub, and Miller and Stebbins (1964. The Lives of Desert Animals in Joshua Tree National Monument,. University of California Press, Berkeley. 452 pp.) mentioned collecting an individual on top of a "massive rock 30 feet from the ground." Crowley and Pietruszka (1983. Anim. Behav. 31:1055-1060) commented that this species often climbs into shrubs or onto rocks, but did not provide additional information. For this reason, we augment the limited data on climbing in G. wislizenii with an observation from the Mojave Desert of California (USA).

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