Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ajolote Lizard

Goal for the week 18hrs
Work on the sphinx


The Ajolote Lizard (Bipes biporus) is a two legged Amphisbaenian (worm lizards sort of the odd group out in the snakes and lizards of Squamata). They are found in California and Mexico. This reptile spends most of it's time burrowing, often near mesquite shrubs using it's legs to do most of the digging. They will occasionally leave there burrows at night to hunt surface dwelling insects, but they tend to be awkward on the surface. They eat mostly ground dwelling invertebrates and they have fairly large teeth (Here is a skull). Their ears are unusual for Amphisbaenians in that they have extra folds of skin and fibrous tissue that may be related to what developed into the epihyal bone found in the ears of mammals according to Ernest Wever and Carl Gans. It seems that this ear set up also gives them better hearing then other Amphisbaenians.

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