How Iguanas Beat the Heat and Still Find Things to Eat: Thermoregulation and Feeding in Oplurus saxicola

Marie Russell, SIT Study Abroad

Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management


Oplurus saxicola is a terrestrial, diurnal species of iguana endemic to Madagascar. Populations are located in the southwestern portion of the island in either spiny or gallery forest habitats. A focal observation study of O. saxicola was conducted in Parcel 2 of Andohahela National Park over a period of two weeks at the end of the dry season. The aim of this study was to determine and analyze the differences in thermoregulation and feeding behavior of Oplurus saxicola living in the spiny forest, as opposed to the corresponding behaviors of individuals living in the gallery forest.