Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Blaine W. Schubert

Committee Members

Blaine W. Schubert, Jim I. Mead, Steven C. Wallace


Paleokarst deposits from the Oligo-Miocene of northern Florida preserve undescribed herpetofaunal remains that fill important temporal and geographic gaps in our understanding of Cenozoic lizard evolution. Here I describe and discuss the non-anguimorph lizard diversity of the Brooksville 2 (Ar2) and Miller (He1) local faunas to test for patterns of regional and latitudinal provincialism in the contemporary North American record. Collectively, the sites are significant for documenting 1) extralimital occurrences of the tropical clades Anolis and Corytophaninae, 2) a substantial temporal range extension of the modern southeastern endemic Rhineuridae, 3) the earliest record of eublepharid gekkotans from North America, and 4) the early Miocene arrival of “cnemidophorine” teiids from South America. This work complements recent studies of older, Eocene lizards by others and lends paleontological support to aspects of the tropical conservatism hypothesis: lineages now confined to the tropics were present at higher latitudes when megathermal climates were more extensive.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.