In this pilot study, we show that a non-invasive technique, fecal analysis, can be used to positively identify diet contents in the spiny-tailed agamid lizard () in the wild. We examined U. fecal samples collected in the Kharrara region of Qatar and identified over 25 species of desert plants. In addition to the native flora, grains of barley () were identified in the samples suggesting that can benefit from livestock feed. We also found the remains of invertebrates, vertebrates and stones. The types of vertebrate remains found suggest scavenging behavior; the first evidence of scavenging for this species which has, to date, been considered a strict herbivore. Other studies on have pumped the stomach or killed the animal to retrieve dietary samples. We show that fecal analysis is a suitable technique for dietary examination in herbivorous lizards and, as it is non-invasive, complies easily with institutional review board requirements for ethical animal treatment.


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  1. A.A.T. Conkey, R. Richer, A. Castilla, J. Tribuna, R. Chan, Non-invasive method to examine the diet of the spiny-tailed lizard, Uromastyx aegyptia microlepis, in Qatar, QFARF Proceedings, 2010, EEP18.
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