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      A high mountain lizard from Peru: The world’s highest-altitude reptile

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      Herpetozoa

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Life at high altitudes is particularly challenging for ectothermic animals like reptiles and involves the evolution of specialised adaptations to deal with low temperatures, hypoxia and intense UV radiation. As a result, only very few reptile taxa are able to survive above 5,000 m elevation and herpetological observations from these altitudes are exceedingly rare. We report here an exceptional observation of a lizard population (Liolaemus aff. tacnae; Reptilia, Squamata) from the high Andes of Peru. During an ascent of Chachani mountain (6,054 m, 16°11'S, 71°32'W), we observed and documented photographically this species living between 5,000 and 5,400 m above sea level. Following a review of literature, we show that this is the highest known record of a reptile species.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Nueva especie de lagarto del género Liolaemus (Reptilia: Liolaemidae) del norte de Chile, previamente confundido con Liolaemus (= Phrynosaura) reichei.

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            Checklist of the Reptilian fauna of Himachal Pradesh, India.

             Saikia,  U. Saikia,  DK Sharma (2007)
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              The ecological specialist, Thermophis baileyi (Wall, 1907) – new records, distribution and biogeographic conclusions.

               Dorge,  T Dorge,  S Hofmann (2007)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Herpetozoa
                Herpetozoa
                Pensoft Publishers
                2682-955X
                1013-4425
                February 15 2021
                February 15 2021
                : 34
                : 61-65
                Article
                10.3897/herpetozoa.34.61393
                © 2021

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