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World’s first warm-blooded lizard heats up for the mating season

Like all lizards, the Argentinian black and white tegu depends on its surroundings to stay warm. But as the tegu’s mating season starts to heat up, so does the lizard’s body, New Scientist reports. According to a new study in Science Advances, the tegu’s ability to raise its body temperature 10°C warmer than its surroundings makes it the first known warm-blooded lizard. What’s not known is how the tegu raises its temperature, or why. Researchers speculate that the hormones that circulate during the mating season may cause the tegu’s body tissues to work harder, generating extra heat. And the “why” may have to do with parenting: Staying warmer may increase the amount of time the tegu can stay active, allowing it to do more to help its young survive. 

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