A swollen and constipated lizard that lived near a pizzeria is found with poop representing 80% of its body mass thanks to its fatty diet
- Lizard with belly the size of a golf ball has been discovered in Florida
- He was eating insects covered with grease-soaked sand near a pizzeria
- The lizard was constipated with 22 grams of poop in his stomach
- The bolus / body mass ratio is more than six times higher than that recorded
A diet of fat has led to the disappearance of a curly-tailed lizard in Florida.
Researchers discovered the tubby creature near a Cocoa Beach pizzeria with a record case of constipation – an unbeatable mass of feces made up 80% of its body.
The mid-section of the two-inch-long female creature was filled with 22 grams of shit and swollen to the size of a golf ball.
The bolus / body mass ratio was more than six times higher than the previous record held by a Burmese python.
The lizard ate insects covered with greasy sand which froze inside its body and had to be euthanized because it was unable to digest the nutrients.
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Researchers discovered tubby creature near Cocoa Beach pizzeria with record case of constipation – an unbeatable globe of feces made up 80% of its body
Natalie Claunch, Ph.D. A candidate for the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment said, “When we caught it, we just assumed the animal was ready to lay eggs.
“But when we went to get eggs, it was just like it was full of Silly Putty.”
When Claunch and his colleague Edward Stanley, director of the Florida Museum’s digital discovery and dissemination laboratory, scanned the lizard, they found the massive fecal bolus lodged in his enlarged stomach.
While the lizard was eating insects outside the pizzeria, it also ingested particles of sand soaked in fat.
The middle section of the two-inch-long female creature was filled with 22 grams of shit and inflated to the size of a golf ball
However, experts say that the mass of excrement has accumulated over time and has become too large for the creature to pass.
And the longer the lizard was constipated, the more the mass of excrement increased.
Stanley said: “ I was amazed at how little room there was for all the other organs – if you look at the 3D model, there is only a little space left in his rib cage for the heart, lungs and liver. ”
When the team found the tubby creature, it determined that it was starving because it was unable to digest the nutrient-depleted bolus and had it humanely euthanized.
The curly-tailed lizard is native to the Caribbean and is found in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Cuba.
They were introduced to Florida in the early 1940s to help control sugar cane pests.
Claunch said the species’ diet, which includes everything from pieces of fish to cheese and crackers, likely put him at higher risk for fecal impaction.
The lizard ate insects covered in greasy sand which froze inside its body and had to be euthanized because it was unable to digest the nutrients
“They are like sparrows or gulls on a frying stand, without the tweet or the descent,” said Claunch.
She noted that these creatures offer a key case study of how invasive populations can successfully establish themselves in Florida.
“New populations are always being reported and discovered – these lizards can hitchhike in cars, plant delivery trucks or boats, so they end up in many disconnected places,” said Claunch.
“ We have so many invasive lizards in Florida that the funding and the power of the person are usually directed to “ high priority ” species that directly threaten threatened or endangered native species, or infrastructure, but the successful spread of curly-tailed lizards makes this an interesting case.
Claunch said that an example of this extreme fecal impaction is a rare find in wild lizards, probably because they usually only eat small, passable amounts of sand or soil when capturing prey, and animals sloths become easy targets for predators.
“ We might not have noticed the fecal boluses we found in some curly-tailed lizards if we hadn’t caught and examined hundreds for a physiology project, ” she said .
“It just shows that you never know what you will find when you least expect it.”