Lizard species fight snakes to protect eggs
Sydney: Snakes may have finally met their match in a lizard species which can fight back if their eggs are threatened, researchers say.
The researchers from the James Cook University (JCU) found that females of the Asian long-tailed skink aggressively defend their eggs from egg-eating snakes.
David Pike, lecturer in JCU School of Marine and Tropical Biology, co-authored the study on Orchid Island off Taiwan with Wen-San Huang from the National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan, Si-Min Lin from the National Taiwan Normal University and Sylvain Dubey from the University of Lausanne, the Journal of Animal Ecology reports.
"Among lizards in general, it is quite rare to find a species that stays with the eggs until they hatch. But the long-tailed skink that we studied is among the few species that do guard their eggs. We found that the lizards will aggressively defend their eggs from predators -- even snakes," said Pike, according to a James Cook statement.
Pike said it might surprise people that lizards could deter a predator as formidable as a snake. "Many snake species readily eat lizards, so with the species we studied, we found we were either dealing with a very unique lizard or very wimpy snakes," he said.
"Lizards can be very aggressive towards snakes, as most mothers can be when provoked. But this snake species was only interested in eating the lizard eggs, and not the mother lizard." The physical attributes of the two were also a factor in the phenomenon, he said.
"The lizards are also pretty big and the snakes don`t get very big. This allows the lizards to attack snakes without fear of being eaten," he said.
"The lizards understand that the snakes will not eat them, and as a consequence will fiercely attack snakes that enter the nest. By deterring snakes these mothers ensure that their eggs will hatch," added Pike.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA : Dr. Subhash Chandra Show on tips for successful life
- Solar Impulse 2 lands in Spain, completes world's first Atlantic flight
- Delhi Police arrests AAP MLA in the middle of press conference
- Pak grants 91-year-old Indian's last wish - a trip to his ‘ancestral home’
- Bihar: Acid attack on girl in Aurangabad district, victim critical
- Copa-Euro showdown: Proposal made for match between Copa America and Euro 2016 winners
- World doping watchdog WADA shuts down Rio Olympic lab
- 'What is the EU?' searches spike on Google after shattering Brexit vote
- Brexit 'wake-up call for Europe', says Austrian President Heinz Fischer
- SHOCKING! Islamic State-linked Saudi twin brothers attack own family, stab mother