Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 164, Issue 2, pp 124–129 | Cite as

Resting metabolism of helodermatid lizards: allometric and ecological relationships

  • D. D. Beck
  • C. H. Lowe


We measured metabolic rates at 15 and 25°C in 42 helodermatid lizards ranging in mass from 26 to 1616 g. No consistent repeatable daily rhythms of metabolism were detected. There were no significant differences in metabolic rates between the two species of Heloderma. The temperature coefficient for metabolism (Q10) was 3.0 between 15 and 25°C. The mass exponent for helodermatids (0.69) differed significantly from the among-species mass exponent of 0.80 for all squamates combined. However, adult Heloderma had a mass exponent of 0.80. Rates of metabolism of adult helodermatids were lower than those of other squamate reptiles, and at 15°C periods of apnea contributed to a further reduction in metabolic rate. Our finding that helodermatids have low SMRs supports the hypothesis that ecology is important in influencing metabolic rate, and that “reclusive” squamates have lower rates of metabolism than do nonreclusive species.

Key words

Metabolic rate Oxygen consumption Gilamonster Beaded lizard Heloderma 



body mass


mass exponent


metabolic rate(s)


resting metabolic rate(s)


standard metabolic rate(s)


ambient temperature


body temperature


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. D. Beck
    • 1
  • C. H. Lowe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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