The Skull Structure of Some Arid Asian Agamids of Phrynocephalus Genus (Agamidae, Sauria)

Natalia B. Ananjeva


The skull structure of some species of arid Asian agamids genus Phrynocephalus from the Middle Asia was studied. It differs from other lizards of this family by some specific characters. The construction of the short and wide skull forms its “bulldog”-like shape created by the strong protruding of the lower jaw together with quadratum bone. Of special comparative interest are the following cranial characters: the angles between maxillae and its appendices, the shift of the occipital junction, the dental formula and the size of the parietal foramen. In general the juvenile specimens have larger parietal foramen that decreases during their ontogeny. The differences in the size of the parietal foramen in several species of Phrynocephalus are noted and compared. The paedomorphic characters in the skull structure and dentition are discussed.


Sauria; Agamidae; Phrynocephalus; skull structure; dentition

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