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Seasonality in Kgalagadi lizards: inferences from legacy data

Cite this dataset

Huey, Raymond (2021). Seasonality in Kgalagadi lizards: inferences from legacy data [Dataset]. Dryad.


This data set compiles field and dietary data on Kagalagadi lizards, collected in 1969-70. The data are used in:

Huey, R. B., D. B. Miles, and E. R. Pianka. 2021. Seasonality in Kgalagadi lizards: Inferences from llegacy data. American Natualist in press.

This paper addresses whether legacy data -- or other data that had been gathered for unrelated purposes -- can be relevant to contemporary ecological issues. The data used here were gathered a half-century ago. Natural-history data were compiled for 18 species of Kgalagadi lizards and then used to explore aspects of the seasonal ecology of these lizards, emphasizing winter. The data include species, body size (snout-to-vent length, SVL in mm, mass in g), sex, date, time of day, body temperature (°C), air temperature (°C), and food volume (ml).

These natural history data were not gathered with a study of seasonal ecology in mind but nonetheless inform diverse seasonal patterns for a major community of lizards. The paper discussed challenges and ambiguities in using repurposed data (whether recent or legacy).


Most data were collected and recorded directly on the field, but dietary data was obtained later from stomach contents.

Data were originally saved on punch cards, but are saved here as Excel files. The original field notes will be deposited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, where all specimens are stored.

Usage notes

Several data sets are available. Missing values are indicated by NA. 

All data sets and their variables are described in a README.