Juan Diego Daza

Juan Diego Daza
Sam Houston State University | SHSU · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

193
Publications
46,102
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,415
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2013 - present
Sam Houston State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
December 2010 - August 2013
Villanova University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2003 - March 2009
University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (193)
Article
Full-text available
Gobekko cretacicus, a Cretaceous lizard from the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, is a key fossil for understanding gecko phylogeny. We revisit this fossil using high-resolution X-ray computed tomography. The application of this imaging method reveals new information about sutures, bone shape, and structural details of the palate and basicranium. These dat...
Article
Full-text available
Geckos with a leaf-toed morphology (digits with a single pair of enlarged adhesive pads located terminally) occur on six continents and many islands. Although most leaf-toed gecko genera belong to independently derived lineages, recent studies support the monophyly of a circum-Indian Ocean group including four genera from disparate regions: the sou...
Article
Full-text available
Gekkota is often interpreted as sister to all remaining squamates, exclusive of dibamids, or as sister to Autarchoglossa. It is the only diverse lineage of primarily nocturnal lizards and includes some of the smallest amniotes. The skeleton of geckos has often been interpreted as paedomorphic and/or "primitive" but these lizards also display a wide...
Article
Sphaerodactyl geckos comprise five genera distributed across Central and South America and the Caribbean. We estimated phylogenetic relationships among sphaerodactyl genera using both separate and combined analyses of seven nuclear genes. Relationships among genera were incongruent at different loci and phylogenies were characterized by short, in s...
Article
A detailed description of the skull and jaw of the gecko Sphaerodactylus roosevelti is presented. The bones are described articulated and isolated with special consideration given to the type of suture among joining elements. S. roosevelti was compared with 109 gekkotan species to evaluate the osteological variation and to find characters for cladi...
Article
Sex determination is a critical element of successful vertebrate development, suggesting that sex chromosome systems might be evolutionarily stable across lineages. For example, mammals and birds have maintained conserved sex chromosome systems over long evolutionary time periods. Other vertebrates, in contrast, have undergone frequent sex chromoso...
Article
Full-text available
We here report on a well-preserved juvenile lizard specimen in Albian amber (ca. 110 mya) from the Hkamti site (Myanmar). This new taxon is represented by an articulated skull and the anterior portion of the trunk, including the pectoral girdle and forelimbs. The scleral ossicles and eyelid are also visible, and the specimen exhibits pristine detai...
Poster
Full-text available
Liotyphlops es un genero de serpientes minadoras ampliamente distribuido desde Costa Rica hasta Argentina. Se caracteriza externamente por tener una escama rostral agrandada en contacto con la escama frontal, previniendo el contacto entre las escamas prefrontales en el dorso de la cabeza. La especie tipo (Liotyphlops albirostris) exhibe la distribu...
Preprint
Full-text available
We here report on a well-preserved juvenile lizard specimen in Albian amber (ca. 110 mya) from the Hkamti site in Myanmar. This new taxon, Retinosaurus hkamtiensis gen. et sp. nov., is represented by an articulated skull and the anterior portion of the trunk, including the pectoral girdle and forelimbs. The ocular skeleton (scleral ossicles) and ey...
Article
Scolecophidian snakes have long posed challenges for scholars interested in elucidating their anatomy. The importance, and relative paucity, of high‐quality anatomical data pertaining to scolecophidians was brought into sharp focus in the late 20th century as part of a controversy over the phylogeny and ecological origin of snakes. The basal positi...
Article
Liotyphlops is a genus of blindsnakes distributed in Central and South America. We reviewed specimens of Liotyphlops albirostris along its current distribution range and, based on morphological data and ecological niche modeling analyses, we restrict the geographical range of L. albirostris and validate three previously described species. In this r...
Article
Full-text available
Cases of Ixodes scapularis (Blacklegged Tick or Deer Tick) are known to infest a variety of lizard species including Scincella lateralis (Ground Skink). We report the finding of 1 Ground Skink with an attached immature tick, later identified as an engorged Blacklegged Tick nymph, in a population with a low rate of tick infestation. Of the 151 Groun...
Article
Blind snakes (Scolecophidia) are small‐bodied, enigmatic burrowing reptiles with members found on all continents except Antarctica. This Special Issue on blind snakes honors and advances the foundational studies by a remarkable anatomist, Richard Thomas. Richard is currently one of the living herpetologists to have described the greatest number of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sex chromosomes have evolved many times across eukaryotes, indicating both their importance and their evolutionary flexibility. Some vertebrate groups, such as mammals and birds, have maintained a single, conserved sex chromosome system across long evolutionary time periods. By contrast, many reptiles, amphibians, and fish have undergone frequent s...
Poster
Full-text available
Liotyphlops albirostris has a wide geographic distribution (Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Curacao, and Ecuador) occupying diverse habitats. And exhibit tremendous morphological variation. Several species have been synonymized under the umbrella of Liotyphlops albirostris.
Article
The skeleton of the middle ear of lizards is composed of three anatomical elements: columella, extracolumella, and tympanic membrane, with some exceptions that show modifications of this anatomy. The main function of the middle ear is transforming sound waves into vibrations and transmitting these to the inner ear. Most middle ear studies mainly fo...
Article
Full-text available
Oculudentavis khaungraae was described based on a tiny skull trapped in amber. The slender tapering rostrum with retracted narial openings, large eyes, and short vaulted braincase led to its identification as the smallest avian dinosaur on record, comparable to the smallest living hummingbirds. Despite its bird-like appearance, Oculudentavis showed...
Article
The cranial anatomy of blindsnakes has been markedly understudied, with the small size and relative rarity of encountering these subterranean reptiles being significant limiting factors. In this article, we re‐visit the skull anatomy of the Australian southern blind snake Anilios australis Gray, 1845 using microCT data, and produce the first comple...
Article
John Paul Richard Thomas is among the living herpetologists to have described the greatest number of new species of amphibians and reptiles, and his contributions to the herpetology of the West Indies, particularly the Greater Antilles, have been exceptional. His academic career followed an unusual path, having established a strong reputation and d...
Article
Full-text available
Synopsis Pygopodids are elongate, functionally limbless geckos found throughout Australia. The clade presents low taxonomic diversity (∼45 spp.), but a variety of cranial morphologies, habitat use, and locomotor abilities that vary between and within genera. In order to assess potential relationships between cranial morphology and ecology, computed...
Article
This biographical account summarizes the professional career and scientific contributions of John Paul Richard Thomas, a contemporary leading figure in the systematics of West Indian amphibians and non-avian reptiles, especially of blind snakes of the families Typhlopidae and Leptotyphlopidae. Since his first expedition to the West Indies in 1957,...
Article
The first amber-embedded fossil representing the lizard family Agamidae, Protodraco monocoli gen. et sp. nov., is described in burmite of the lowermost Cenomanian (ca. 99 Ma; mid-Cretaceous) from northern Myanmar. It is among both the oldest known amber lizards and the oldest fossils of the family. The fossil is a well preserved left hind foot with...
Article
Full-text available
Pseudogonatodes furvus is an endemic gecko from the region of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, an isolated massif located in the continental Caribbean region of Colombia. Pseudogonatodes furvus is the type species of the genus, and its morphology and natural history remain poorly known. This lizard was described based on two specimens. After its d...
Article
It has previously been stated that geckos are characterized by smooth cranial bones bearing no sculpturing; however, there are many exceptions. Here we systematically characterize variation in sculpturing in cranial bones across all seven gekkotan families and examine patterns of evolutionary transitions in these traits on a multigene molecular gek...
Article
Albanerpetontids are tiny, enigmatic fossil amphibians with a distinctive suite of characteristics, including scales and specialized jaw and neck joints. Here we describe a new genus and species of albanerpetontid, represented by fully articulated and three-dimensional specimens preserved in amber. These specimens preserve skeletal and soft tissues...
Article
Full-text available
Prosymna is a specialized African snake genus lacking close relatives. The evolutionary relationships and history within Prosymna are poorly understood. Here we assembled a multi-gene data set including representatives for 11 of 16 species to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of this group. Our analyses support the monophyly of Prosymna an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Oculudentavis khaungraae was described based on a tiny skull trapped in amber. The slender tapering rostrum with retracted osseous nares, large eyes, and short vaulted braincase led to its identification as the smallest avian dinosaur on record, comparable to the smallest living hummingbirds. Despite its bird-like appearance, Oculudentavis showed s...
Article
Studies of the Caribbean herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) have made significant contributions to our knowledge of evolutionary patterns and processes. A prerequisite for these studies are accurate taxonomies and robust phylogenetic hypotheses. One notable Caribbean radiation lacking such data are dwarf geckos of the genus Sphaerodactylus. Sys...
Article
Full-text available
Armored skin resulting from the presence of bony dermal structures, osteoderms, is an exceptional phenotype in gekkotans (geckos and flap‐footed lizards) only known to occur in three genera: Geckolepis, Gekko, and Tarentola. The Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko LINNAEUS 1758) is among the best‐studied geckos due to its large size and wide range of occurren...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the mechanisms that create and maintain biodiversity is a central question in ecology and evolution. Speciation is the process that creates biodiversity. Speciation is mediated by incompatibilities that lead to reproductive isolation between divergent populations and these incompatibilities can be observed in hybrid zones. Gecko lizards...
Article
In recent years, major changes have been proposed for the phylogenetic relationships within the Gymnophthalmoidea, including the description of Alopoglossidae. Recent studies relied primarily on molecular data and have not accounted for evidence from alternative sources, such as morphology. In this study, we provide a detailed bone-by-bone descript...
Article
Background: One goal of evolutionary developmental biology is to understand the role of development in the origin of phenotypic novelty and convergent evolution. Geckos are an ideal system to study this topic as they are species-rich and exhibit a suite of diverse morphologies - many of which have independently evolved multiple times within geckos...
Article
Investigating the evolutionary processes influencing the origin, evolution, and turnover of vertebrate sex chromosomes requires the classification of sex chromosome systems in a great diversity of species. Among amniotes, squamates (lizards and snakes) - and gecko lizards in particular - are worthy of additional study. Geckos possess all major vert...
Article
We report the discovery of a new genus and species of amber-preserved lizard from the mid-Cretaceous of Myanmar. The fossil is one of the smallest and most complete Cretaceous lizards ever found, preserving both the articulated skeleton and remains of the muscular system and other soft tissues. Despite its completeness, its state of preservation ob...
Article
We identify a presumed specimen of Sphaerodactylus in amber from the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig as being embedded in copal, rather than amber. Further, the specimen matches the morphology not of a Hispa-niolan gecko, but of the extant Madagascan species Ebenavia boettgeri, which occurs in a known area of copal deposits. © 2018 Zool...
Article
Full-text available
Squamate remains from fossil-bearing deposits are difficult to identify on the basis of their morphology, because their modern relatives lack osteological description. In addition, intraspecific morphological variability of modern taxa is mostly understudied, making taxonomic identification of subfossil bones even more difficult. The aim of this st...
Article
Full-text available
The Peruvian sphaerodactyl gecko, Pseudogonatodes barbouri, is among the smallest reptile species in South America. Morphological information about this species, or even the genus, is limited. In this study, we produced a bone-by-bone description from the skull and atlantoaxial complex to contribute new phenotypic information about this poorly know...
Article
Full-text available
Well-resolved phylogenetic hypotheses and ontogenetic data are often necessary for investigating the evolution of structural novelty. The Sphaerodactylidae comprises 12 genera of predominantly miniaturized geckos. The genera Aristelliger and Teratoscincus are exceptions, with taxa reaching snout-to-vent lengths far exceeding those of other sphaerod...
Article
Full-text available
New species of a gecko of the genus Euleptes is described here—E. klembarai. The material comes from the middle Miocene (Astaracian, MN 6) of Slovakia, more precisely from the well-known locality called Zapfe‘s fissure fillings (Devínska Nová Ves, Bratislava). The fossil material consists of isolated left maxilla, right dentary, right pterygoid and...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative osteology of European lizards, and of European geckos in particular, is poorly known, resulting in problems when trying to determine to species isolated bones found as fossils or as remains of prey in scats or pellets. In order to partly solve this issue, we here present a detailed comparative analysis of the cranial bones of the four m...
Article
Gekkota (geckos and pygopodids) is a clade thought to have originated in the Early Cretaceous and that today exhibits one of the most remarkable scansorial capabilities among lizards. Little information is available regarding the origin of scansoriality, which subsequently became widespread and diverse in terms of ecomorphology in this clade. An un...
Article
Full-text available
Acrodont dental implantation is widely considered an important character for referring fossil material to Rhynchocephalia. Under its purest definition, acrodonty involves teeth being attached to the crest of the marginal bones without roots. A similar mode of tooth attachment is known in a variety of other reptile groups including some squamates an...
Article
Full-text available
Lepidosaurian reptiles (squamates and rhynchocephalians) comprise one of the world’s most diverse groups of tetrapods, with most of that diversity found in regions of the world that once formed the supercontinent of Gondwana. In this special section of the Journal of Herpetology, we present both review and original studies on the evolution of lepid...
Article
Full-text available
The South American genus Homonota comprises 10 species of Broad-Headed Geckos that reach the austral limit for the Gekkota. Historically, morphological data have supported the monophyly of a group including Homonota and the Chilean genus Garthia, with the latter possibly embedded within the former. In contrast, molecular evidence indicates these tw...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nombre del expositor Presenter name Cristian Hernández-Morales Alopoglossidae is a recently erected family of Neotropical lizards that includes the genera Alopoglossus (seven named species) and Ptychoglossus (15 named species). This family is distributed from Costa Rica, through northern South America, both east and west of the Andes, and across Am...
Article
Full-text available
Sesamoids are elements that originate as intratendinous structures due to genetic and epigenetic factors. These elements have been reported frequently in vertebrates, although cranial sesamoids have been recorded almost exclusively in non-tetrapod Osteichthyes. The only tetrapod cranial sesamoids reported until now have been the transiliens cartila...
Article
Full-text available
The gecko genus Geckolepis, endemic to Madagascar and the Comoro archipelago, is taxonomically challenging. One reason is its members ability to autotomize a large portion of their scales when grasped or touched, most likely to escape predation. Based on an integrative taxonomic approach including external morphology, morphometrics, genetics, pholi...
Data
Rotational video of the skull of Geckolepis maculata (ZMB 9655)
Data
Rotational video of the skull of Geckolepis of OTU AB (ZSM 1520/2008)
Data
Supplementary information The type locality of Geckolepis maculata Peters, 1880
Data
Variable osteological characters among specimens of Geckolepis examined.
Data
Rotational video of the skull of Geckolepis megalepis sp. nov. (ZSM 2126/2007)
Data
Rotational video of the skull of Geckolepis humbloti (ZSM 80/2010)
Data
Measurements and meristics of the specimens examined for this study
Data
Stereoscopic 3D renderings of the skull of the holotype of Geckolepis megalepis sp. nov. in anterolateral and dorsal view
Data
Rotational video of the skull of Geckolepis humbloti (ZSM 81/2006)
Article
Full-text available
The fossil record shows that iguanian lizards were widely distributed during the Late Cretaceous. However, the biogeographic history and early evolution of one of its most diverse and peculiar clades (acrodontans) remain poorly known. Here, we present the first Mesozoic acrodontan from Africa, which also represents the oldest iguanian lizard from t...
Data
The Supplementary Material File contains phylogenetic dataset scoring for the new taxon and additional information from our results.
Data
Table S3. Comparisons of iodine‐based contrast agents with alternatives commonly used in contrast‐enhanced μCT imaging.
Data
Table S1. A Microsoft excel file containing the contents of Table 1 along with additional columns of specimen preparation and imaging parameters for readers to manipulate and use for comparing and contrasting various aspects of specimen affinities, sizes, preparation regimes, and μCT imaging.