Cutaneous Water Loss in Reptiles

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Science  25 Mar 1966:
Vol. 151, Issue 3717, pp. 1547-1549
DOI: 10.1126/science.151.3717.1547


Cutaneous and respiratory evaporation were compared in five species of reptiles at 23°C. There seemed to be a clear correlation between water loss and aridity of the animal's habitat, total evaporation from the desert lizard Sauromalus obesus being about 5 percent of that from the crocodilian Caiman sclerops. Cutaneous evaporation was the major avenue of water loss in all animals examined. This is contrary to the common belief that reptilian skin is practically impermeable to water.

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