Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rough-horn lizard(Ceratophora aspera)

English: Rough-horn lizard
Sinhala:රළු අංකටුස්සා[Ralu Ankatussa]
Binomial: Ceratophora aspera

Ceratophora aspera, an edemic horn bearing lizard was first described by Albert Günther in 1864.Several theories have been suggested to describe the evolutionary purpose of the horn of these agamid lizards.One such hypothesis suggests that it is used for the purpose of communication within the species. Also it is said that more larger and prominent horns in males are used in attracting females for reproduction. Another theory describes that rough, brown colored horn like structure has provided an evolutionary advantage by providing a form of camouflage by letting them to blend with the leaf litter filled environment. Studies carried out using mitochondrial DNA reveals that the diversification of C. aspera has been taken place from its common ancestor about 12.6 million years ago in the Miocene(Schulte et al. 2002).

Schulte, James A, J.Robert Macey, Rohan Pethiyagoda, and Allan Larson 2002 Rostral Horn Evolution among Agamid Lizards of the Genus Ceratophora Endemic to Sri Lanka. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 22(1): 111–117.