Data Descriptor: A comprehensive database of thermal developmental plasticity in reptiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


How temperature influences development has direct relevance to ascertaining the impact of climate change on natural populations. Reptiles have served as empirical models for understanding how the environment experienced by embryos can influence phenotypic variation, including sex ratio, phenology and survival. Such an understanding has important implications for basic eco-evolutionary theory and conservation efforts worldwide. While there is a burgeoning empirical literature of experimental manipulations of embryonic thermal environments, addressing widespread patterns at a comparative level has been hampered by the lack of accessible data in a format that is amendable to updates as new studies emerge. Here, we describe a database with nearly 10, 000 phenotypic estimates from 155 species of reptile, collected from 300 studies manipulating incubation temperature (published between 1974-2016). The data encompass various morphological, physiological, behavioural and performance traits along with growth rates, developmental timing, sex ratio and survival (e.g., hatching success). This resource will serve as an important data repository for addressing overarching questions about thermal plasticity of reptile embryos.


  • Daniel W.A. Noble
  • Vaughn Stenhouse
  • Julia L. Riley
  • Daniel A. Warner
  • Geoffrey M. While
  • Wei Guo Du
  • Tobias Uller
  • Lisa E. Schwanz
External organisations
  • University of New South Wales
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Macquarie University, Sydney
  • Auburn University
  • University of Tasmania
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Article number180138
JournalScientific Data
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 17
Publication categoryResearch