Table of Contents
Toxins, Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2016)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) The Komodo monitor (Varanus komodoensis) is amongst the most iconic reptiles globally, occurring on [...] Read more. The Komodo monitor (Varanus komodoensis) is amongst the most iconic reptiles globally, occurring on Komodo and nearby islands in Indonesia. These lizards produce venom which they use to secure prey which include large mammals such as deer. Our study on the evolutionary patterns of toxic weaponry across tetrapods suggests that the macroevolutionary dynamics of reptiles are surprisingly similar to those of mammals. Despite very different patterns of phylogenetic distribution of venom (contained within a large clade in reptiles compared to a tippy and sparse distribution in mammals), the two groups are linked by relatively slow evolutionary dynamics.