A male and female lizard sit together on a fence post with grass in the foreground
Climate Change Prematurely Ages Lizards Before They’re Born
Lizards born to parents that experienced persistent heat had shortened telomeres, a genetic weathering that typically happens with age but can also be exacerbated by stress.
Climate Change Prematurely Ages Lizards Before They’re Born
Climate Change Prematurely Ages Lizards Before They’re Born

Lizards born to parents that experienced persistent heat had shortened telomeres, a genetic weathering that typically happens with age but can also be exacerbated by stress.

Lizards born to parents that experienced persistent heat had shortened telomeres, a genetic weathering that typically happens with age but can also be exacerbated by stress.

reptiles
T. rex-like dinosaur head covered in knobby structures
The Dino That Looked T. Rex-y Long Before T. Rex 
Shawna Williams | Jul 7, 2022
Fossil findings shed light on a little-known group of Cretaceous-era beasts—and indicate that the combination of a large head and diminutive arms was no evolutionary fluke.
Close-up of the head of the Aldabra Giant Tortoise. Her face is dirty from eating grass on a sandy beach.
How Slow Can You Go?
Hannah Thomasy | Jun 23, 2022
Two studies show negligible rates of aging in some types of turtles and other cold-blooded creatures, but that doesn’t mean they’re immortal.
Tiliqua rugosa, sleepy lizard, on reddish soil in western Australia
Researchers Probe Genetics Behind a Lizard’s Odd Immune System
Hannah Thomasy | May 10, 2022
Deletions in the sleepy lizard genome leave it without an important type of T cells found in most other vertebrates.
leatherback sea turtle making its way across a beach
Fifteen-Year Project Quantifies Threat to Reptiles
Shawna Williams | Apr 28, 2022
The study estimates that one-fifth of reptile species worldwide are at risk of extinction.
colorful parrot-like bird riding a tiny bicycle on a tightrope
Reptiles are the Real Bird Brains
Sophie Fessl | Mar 22, 2022
A research group argues that a species’ number of neurons, rather than brain volume, should serve as indicator of cognitive capacity when studying brain evolution, but some experts voice doubts.
Photographs of animals
Numerosity Around the Animal Kingdom
Catherine Offord | Oct 1, 2021
Research in recent decades has explored how animals other than humans perceive different numbers of objects
A smiling Black man leans against a colorful wall
Shane Campbell-Staton Dissects the Anthropocene
Lisa Winter | Sep 1, 2021
The Princeton University evolutionary biologist studies how animals are changing due to human activity.
front-facing photo of a western diamondback rattlesnake against a black background
Snakes on a Plain
Annie Melchor | Aug 19, 2021
Researchers discover that rattlesnakes change their rattling frequency when a perceived threat approaches—tricking humans into thinking the snake is closer than it really is.
a leopard gecko with an unusually yellow body
“Lemon Frost” Leopard Geckos’ Cancers Similar to Human Melanomas
Christie Wilcox | Jun 24, 2021
The color morph’s bright yellow hue and its propensity for skin tumors both likely stem from a gene implicated in a dangerous form of human skin cancer, suggesting the animals could make an ideal model for studying the disease.
albino lizard hatchling
Image of the Day: Gene-Edited Reptiles
Nicoletta Lanese | Sep 4, 2019
Scientists injected unfertilized anole lizard eggs with CRISPR-Cas9 to produce albino offspring.
Image of the Day: Baby Boom
Sukanya Charuchandra | Aug 31, 2018
Researchers describe the remains of a clutch of extinct mammal-like animals.
Researchers Look to Sex Pheromones to Trap an Invasive Snake
Steve Graff | Jul 1, 2018
The brown tree snake has wreaked havoc on the island of Guam, but one solution to the problem could lie in the serpent’s own physiology.
Snaking Over
The Scientist Staff | Jun 30, 2018
See how the tiny island of Guam became overrun with brown treesnakes, and learn what biologists are doing to try to eradicate the invasive species.
Hundreds of Pterosaur Eggs Discovered in China
Kerry Grens | Nov 30, 2017
The fossil booty includes some eggs with embryo remains inside, and points to group nests involving long-term parental care.
Second Chance for Lost Galapagos Tortoises?
Bob Grant | Sep 14, 2017
Researchers are trying to recreate an extinct species of the lumbering reptiles by breeding closely related species that contain traces of the lost lineage’s DNA.
Pollution Drives Marine Reptile Color Change
Bob Grant | Aug 11, 2017
The turtle-headed sea snake is losing its stripes, and researchers suggest that the change reflects adaptation to fouled oceans.
Will Komodo Dragons Yield the Next Blockbuster Antibiotic?
Jef Akst | May 1, 2017
The giant lizards have numerous microbicidal compounds in their blood.
Dragons on the Hunt
The Scientist Staff | Apr 30, 2017
Watch Komodo dragons bring down a buffalo.
A New Species of Gecko Defensively Sheds Its Scales
Diana Kwon | Feb 8, 2017
Geckolepis megalepis escapes its predators by rapidly detaching its fish-like scales.