Interspecific patterns of cutaneous water loss

Water is one of the most important physiological traits to terrestrial vertebrates, as land is a desiccating environment. Animals lose water through various mechanisms, but a major source of water loss is through their skin (cutaneous water loss). My previous research has examined interspecific patterns of total evaporative water loss in mammals in relation to habitat aridity (Van Sant et al. 2012), scale variation among phrynosomatid lizards in relation to habitat aridity (Oufiero, Gartner, et al. 2011), and variation and repeatability of cutaneous water loss (Oufiero and Van Sant 2018).

Currently we are focused on examining broad interspecific patterns of water loss in relation to habitat among reptiles and amphibians. We will be collaborating with local zoos and aquariums to measure cutaneous water loss on more than 100 diverse species kept under semi-natural conditions. We hope this data will help understand the diversity in this physiological trait and provide a resource for others working on modeling the effects of climate change.