Lizard Societies – Julia Riley from Macquarie University

Why are animals social? 

Researchers from Macquarie University in Sydney are delving into the private lives of skinks to understand why animals bond together.

Reptiles are not usually considered the friendliest of animals, nor are they generally considered ‘social’ animals in the same way mammals and insects are. But recent research is showing us that we have underestimated our cold-blooded companions, and that lizards can form complex social networks.

Julia Riley, an ecologist from Macquarie University, is using DNA to examine whether Australian tree skinks (Egernia striolata) form family groups, and how they can benefit from bonding together.

You can find out more about Julia’s research at her website,  or visit the Lizard Lab website to see what her colleagues are up to.

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