Skink ecomorphology: forelimb and hind limb lengths correlate with habitat use
Lars Schmitz
Variation in animal form, function and behavior is often considered to be associated with habitat use. Many studies of the ‘ecomorphs’ of Greater Antillean anoles support this assumption, but no other lizard group has shown clear relationships between limb anatomy and habitat use. We tested for such relationships in lygosomine skinks, a speciose and geographically widespread group that exhibits a large diversity of limb shapes and has repeatedly invaded different habitat types. We found that limbs tend to be longer in climbing than in ground-dwelling skinks, but not all groups within skinks show this relationship. The variation between groups suggests that skinks have evolved multiple different solutions in response to similar habitat types.  


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