Feeding ecology and diet

Living almost exclusively in crevices or holes, xenosaurids are likely to be sit-and-wait foragers who eat what comes into or near their crevices. Diet analyses of three species by Julio Lemos-Espinal and colleagues found a generalist diet made up primarily of arthropods. However, the diet of X. new-manorum included a small amount of mammal and plant material. This diet analysis suggests that xenosaurids are gen-eralists and opportunistic foragers.

Many lizards use their tongues to help detect prey odors or chemicals, and when presented with potential prey items, lizards will typically increase the rate at which they flick their tongues. William E. Cooper Jr. and colleagues tested X. platyceps for this response to prey chemicals. Tests of juveniles and adults outside of their crevices found that juveniles responded to prey chemicals but that adults did not. However, when tested in their crevices, both juveniles and adults responded to prey chemicals with elevated tongue-flicking rates, suggesting that the behavior of the adults depends on their location relative to their crevices.

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