Skip to main content
Contribution to Book
The Saurian Psyche Revisted: Lizards in Research
The Care and Use of Amphibians, Reptiles, and Fish in Research (1992)
  • Neil Greenberg, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
This essay is intended to guide researchers interested in lizards as prospective experimental models to identify an appropriate species for their research needs and to care for lizards in a manner that will not compromise their utility. Coupled with these is a concern for critical thinking about the ethical dimension of lizard research, one guide for which is to consider the intersection of human needs and lizard needs. Before proceeding further, several arbitrary premises must be made clear: 1. While wholly deserving of study because of their intrinsic interest, I will assume that the lizard research to be undertaken is to obtain information that has generality and utility that transcends the species involved. That is, the information possess external validity__ potential applicability beyond the particulars of the individuals under study and the study environment; such data would contribute to the solving of more general problems. 2. We are concerned with animal welfare rather than animal rights. The failure to distinguish these two issues, concerned respectively with the reduction of pain and suffering on one hand and the possession by animals of rights comparable to those of humans, is a significant source of confusion (Schmidt 1990). 3. We are concerned with research rather than testing: the popular view of the scientist often confuses white_coated testers of toxicity with researchers in basic science. We are trying to attain original insights and advance basic knowledge, not set the agenda for commercial development or the limits for safe implementation. Because of the great diversity of lizards and their life_styles, much of this review necessarily deals in generalities anchored in the specifics of my experience with a few iguanid species. For the current version with updated commentary, see:
Publication Date
D.O. Schaeffer, K.M. Kleinow, L Krulish
Scientists Center for Animal Welfare
Citation Information
Neil Greenberg. "The Saurian Psyche Revisted: Lizards in Research" Bethesda, MDThe Care and Use of Amphibians, Reptiles, and Fish in Research (1992)
Available at: