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Aussie Bearded Dragon Can Change Sex In The Womb

When exposed to high temperatures, lizard can change from male to female

February 2008 Editor’s Note
You Know You’re Really Into Reptiles When…Part 3
Herper Headshotz – Jay Brewer

A University of Canberra geneticist has received a fellowship grant for his work with the Australian bearded dragon, discovering that the lizard can change its gender based on both genetics as well as environmental factors. Dr. Tariq Ezaz's research with the bearded dragon has found that in addition to genetics, the sex of the herp is also influenced by environmental factors, according to a report in The Canberra Times.

Dr. Ezaz says that when the lizard is exposed to high temperatures while in the womb, a genetically male lizard can turn into a female. This work has garnered Dr. Ezaz an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship grant totaling $714,000. While his work is focused primarily on the dragon, gecko, and skink families of lizards, he is hoping to expand his research to other reptile species. He also wants to search for the gene that enables the bearded dragon to change sex while in the womb.