| Author||CH.J.J. Klaver|
|Title||Lung-anatomy: aid in Chameleon-taxonomy|
|Abstract||Chamaeleo pumilus is often classified in a separate genus Microsaura or Lophosaura, partly because of differences in lung-structure as compared with a small number of other species. The validity of this assumption, that is questioned, is investigated by studying the lungs of 17 species. Apart from the two lung-types of Chamaeleo chamaeleon and Chamaeleo pumilus already known, many other clearly distinguishable lungtypes were found. As similarities in lung-structure tend to coincide with the relationships distinguished by taxonomists, the lungs proved to be a useful character in this yet systematically difficult group.|
The extensive variation is discussed in view of various processes in action during the evolution of lungs.
Thus it became possible to reconstruct two evolutionary lines, viz. a continental and a Malagasy one, within the genus Chamaeleo. The lung-types of the two species mentioned above represent respectively a primitive type in the one and an advanced type in the other line. Therefore the classification of Chamaeleo pumilus in a separate genus is not justified by the lung-anatomy.
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