As global change continues to disrupt weather patterns and local climate, understanding animals' responses to water and heat stress becomes more important. Scalation patterns in desert reptiles might vary depending on water availability and temperature. Common side-blotched lizards, Uta stansburiana, are found in a variety of habitats spanning north to central Washington State and south to Baja California and represent an ideal model organism to explore the relationship between aridity and scalation. This study examines scale patterns from different time periods, weather conditions, and geographical locations using a combination of museum specimens and recently-caught individuals. By investigating multiple locations across different times, we can better predict what kinds of responses animals might have in the hotter, drier future climate models predict for the American Southwest.
University / Institution: Utah Tech University
Format: In Person
SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Geoff Smith