Journal article

Morphology and burrowing energetics of semi-fossorial skinks (Liopholis spp.)

Nicholas C Wu, Lesley A Alton, Christofer J Clemente, Michael R Kearney, Craig R White

JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY | COMPANY BIOLOGISTS LTD | Published : 2015

Abstract

Burrowing is an important form of locomotion in reptiles, but no study has examined the energetic cost of burrowing for reptiles. This is significant because burrowing is the most energetically expensive mode of locomotion undertaken by animals and many burrowing species therefore show specialisations for their subterranean lifestyle. We examined the effect of temperature and substrate characteristics (coarse sand or fine sand) on the net energetic cost of burrowing (NCOB) and burrowing rate in two species of the Egernia group of skinks (Liopholis striata and Liopholis inornata) compared with other burrowing animals. We further tested for morphological specialisations among burrowing species..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers