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Heterogeneous Growth of Marginal Teeth in the Black Iguana Ctenosaura Similis (Squamata: Iguania)

Omar Torres-Carvajal

Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, MRC 162, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA

Marginal teeth of iguanine lizards have been studied to some extent, but some aspects of tooth growth remain poorly known. Growth of marginal teeth in Ctenosaura similis is described based on examination of 22 dry skulls. The number of premaxillary teeth remains constant; the number of maxillary and mandibular teeth increases allometrically; and there is no correlation between number of pterygoid teeth and size. Ontogenetic changes in tooth morphology probably are related to ontogenetic shifts in diet. Larger individuals have large fanglike anterior marginal teeth, which might represent an adaptation for consumption of fleshy plant material and occasional carnivory. Other genera of iguanine lizards are primarily herbivorous throughout life; thus, carnivory and the related ontogenetic changes in tooth morphology are derived features within the iguanine clade.

Accepted: March 6, 2007

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Appendix 1

Specimens Examined

Ctenosaura Similis

COSTA RICA: Guanacaste: 1 km south-southeast of Bagaces, 75 m, KU 90830; 12 km northwest of Las Cañas, 100 m, KU 90829; GUATEMALA: El Peten: Toocog, approximately 15 km southeast of La Libertad, 140 m, KU 90827; MEXICO: Campeche: 5 km south of Champotón, 10 m, KU 71763; Yucatán: Cozumel Island, KU 1969, 19602; NICARAGUA: Chinandega: 4 km north, 2 km west of Chichigalpa, KU 84957–70; Esteli: Finca Daraili, 5 km north, 14 km east of Condega, 940 m, KU 84972; Managua: 2 km north of Sabana Grande, 50 m, KU 84971.
Cited by
J.-Y. Mo, X. Xu, S. E Evans. (2009) The evolution of the lepidosaurian lower temporal bar: new perspectives from the Late Cretaceous of South China. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Online publication date: 18-Apr-2009.