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The Water-collecting Mechanism of Moloch horridus Re-examined

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

The Australian desert lizard, Moloch, has been reported to collect water by aposing its body to wet surfaces. This water passes through small open capillary channels over the integumentary surface to reach the mouth where it is swallowed. Experiments and scanning micrographs show that water collection and water transport are more complex and occur in different regions of the integument than described. Observations on other agamids from the same region indicate the extent to which agamid skin generally permits water passage; they allow a better definition of the specializations of Moloch.


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