Dwarf Reptile Project

The goal of this project is to understand how and why some of the lizards and snakes have become dwarves (10- 30% smaller) on the Channel Islands off the coast of California. To do this we compare the animals from the mainland California to the animals on the islands. We are evaluating them based on their size and shape as well as their hormones in the blood, their cells that we grow in the lab started from a small piece of tail tissue, their gene sequences we can get from the DNA in their blood cells , and their reproduction based on a portable ultrasound. 

More details about this project can be found on our lab webpage here.  

Below you can follow our adventures, trials, and tribulations related to this project.

Santa Rosa Island

Meet our focal species

Yellow-bellied Racer

(the smaller gray snake) 



Gopher snake

(the black and brown snake).

These are the dwarf individuals from Santa Cruz Island.

Alligator Lizard

These is a dwarf individual  from Santa Cruz Island.


This fellow has a regrown tail.