While lizards are known for laying their eggs and never looking back, desert night lizards are actually against this stereotype-they have family values, just like humans, found a study. They have been found investing time and energy in their young and forming families, a strategy that was thought exclusive to mammals and birds.

Alison Davis, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Berkeley noted that reptiles aren’t even warm-blooded, yet here they are forming families just like their warmer cousins.

“It’s a seismic shift for the way we think of reptiles, and evidence of how a survival strategy -- like parental care and social groups -- evolves over and over, in very divergent groups. It’s basically the same rules of the game,” Discovery news quoted Alison as saying.

The discovery of the desert night lizard family groups comes as a result of a five-year genetic study of more than 2,100 adults and juvenile lizards from the Mojave Desert of California. “The existence of family groups in lizards seems to coincide with species of lizards that give birth to their offspring (called viviparity), as do the desert night lizards, rather than lay eggs, as do about 85 percent of lizards,” she added.

Herpetologist Rick Shine of the University of Sydney in Australia noted: “If you go and pick up a lizard from the field you could be disrupting a sophisticated social order. There may be somebody at home waiting for that individual.”

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