Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Beaupre, Steven

Committee Member/Reader

Eidelman, Scott

Committee Member/Second Reader

Iyer, Shilpa

Committee Member/Third Reader

Churchill, Hugh


Understanding the effect of temperature on physiological and digestive processes, such as voluntary consumption rate, is critical for assessing the impact of climate change. Food consumption is required for lizard survival and reproduction and its rate is dependent on temperature. For ectotherms, as temperatures increase, the amount of food consumed to meet the energy requirements related to survival and reproduction must also increase. Information on the amount of food voluntarily consumed may aid in determining if lizards can meet energy requirements. Such information could also aid in predicting survival of lizard populations, through construction of predictive climate change models. In this study, I investigated the effect of body temperature on voluntary consumption for the prairie lizard, Sceloporus consobrinus. I also determined the effects of body mass, body size (snout-vent length), and total length (TL) on consumption rates. In the laboratory, I conducted feeding trials over a range of temperatures (23.0°C, 28.0°C, 30.0°C, 33.0°C, and 36.0°C) and body sizes measuring the amount of food consumed by each individual lizard. I found that consumption per lizard was highly dependent on temperature, and that between body temperatures 23.0°C - 36.0°C, consumption increased with subsequent increases in temperature. No relationship was found between body mass, body size (SVL), or total length (TL) on consumption rate. I concluded that body temperature significantly influences voluntary consumption rates of Sceloporus consobrinus. Through effects on body temperature, climate change will influence critical physiological functions such as feeding rates. These effects have important implications for growth, reproduction and survival of lizard populations in novel climates.


Body temperature, Physiology, Climate Change