Biopsychology of Lizard Reproductive Behavior
DOI link for Biopsychology of Lizard Reproductive Behavior
Biopsychology of Lizard Reproductive Behavior book
The study of lizard species has provided impor tant insights into the mechanisms and conse quences of reproductive behaviors, including both courtship and copulation. There is great diversity in the courtship behaviors employed by lizards, with many species relying mainly on visual cues (including behavioral displays and sometimes bright coloration) to attract and choose an appropriate mate. Olfactory cues also play an important role in some species. Animals can use the cues on a variety of lev els: to be sure that they are selecting mates of the correct species or the correct sex (that is, the opposite sex) and to be sure that it is an ap propriate time to mate. Studies to date indicate less variability in copulatory behavior than in courtship behavior among lizards. It may be that some of the difference in the amount of di versity discovered between these two stages of reproduction (courtship and copulation) is due to the number of species that have been stud ied and the levels of analysis that have been employed; that is, the details of the mecha nisms used to control copulatory behaviors have been studied in relatively few species. Still, with a few interesting exceptions, lizard species employ neuroendocrine mechanisms for activating sexual behaviors common to each other and many mammalian and avian species.