Viviparous Lizard


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Viviparous Lizard

 

(Lacerta viviparta), a reptile of the family Lacertidae. Body length, 15 to 18 cm; tail length, 10 to 11 cm. Its dorsal coloration is brown with black spots. The males have an orange abdomen; females have green or yellow abdomens. The viviparous lizard, distributed throughout Europe (except in the southeast) and northern Asia, is found on mountains up to 3,000 m in elevation. It lives primarily in hummocky swamps with shrubs and in coniferous and deciduous forests and feeds on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates.

The fertilized eggs remain in the oviducts, where their development takes approximately three months. The young usually emerge from the mother still in the eggshells, hatching within several minutes (this method of reproduction is called ovoviviparity). The young measure up to 4 cm long and are black. The litter of older females consists of eight to 12 off-spring; young females bear two to five. Viviparous lizards winter in burrows, under tree roots, or under bark. Ovoviviparity developed in this species as a result of the cold continental climate. In the Pyrenees Mountains, however, the viviparous lizard is an egg-layer.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
grandis, consistent with other fall/winter active viviparous lizards (Goldberg 1971; 2002; Smith et al.
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Effects of exogenous FSH on follicular recruitment in a viviparous lizard Niveoscincus metallicus (Scincidae).
Thermal biology of a viviparous lizard with temperature-dependent sex determination.
Physiological changes during the female reproductive cycle of the viviparous lizard Cordylus giganteus (Sauria:Cordylidae).
The viviparous lizard Sceloporus bicanthalis is a small, diurnal, ground-dwelling phrynosomatid lizard, restricted to the Neovolcanic Axis in the center of Mexico at 2,100-4,200 m elevation (Smith et al., 1993; Benabib et al., 1997).
Reproductive activity of three sympatric viviparous lizards at Omiltemi, Guerrero, Sierra Mache del Sur, Mexico.
As a consequence, if global warming continues at the same rate, viviparous lizards are facing extinction in the next few decades.
According to the high elevation hypothesis for the evolution of viviparity, the proportion of viviparous lizards inhabiting high elevations should be higher than at low elevations, where oviparous lizards should be more common.