2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Estimating Body Fat of Lizards Using Field Measurements
Christopher R. Becker* and Clay Marolt
Dr. Chad Montgomery and Dr. Phil Ryan, Faculty Mentors

Past studies have assumed that body condition indices (BCIs) can be used to predict fat content in animals. An animal's body fat indicates that the animal is able to meet maintenance demands, which is evidence of fitness. Our goal was to test the validity of using BCIs as a tool in estimating relative fat content in the lizard Sceloporus undulatus. We used a morphological model from the measurements of body mass and snout-vent length to create viable BCIs which could then be used to model fat content, which was determined by dissection. We were able to combine our populations based on site but differences in BCIs between sexes resulted in separate analyses of their respective BCIs. Based on the poor relationships between BCI and fat content, we concluded that the BCIs were poor indicators of total body fat for small lizards.

Keywords: body condition index, fat content, lizard, body measurements, fitness, BCI, Sceloporus undulatus, fitness

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology
Biology
Mathematics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 403-2
Location: MG 2001
Time: 2:45

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* Indicates the Student Presenter

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