The Circumorbital Bones of the Gekkota (Reptilia: Squamata)



The enormous variation of the orbit in lepidosaurs is better conceptualized in terms of composition and configuration. Broadly, the orbit varies from having totally closed rim to being open posteriorly. Two processes are responsible for changes in the components of the circumorbital series, element loss and fusion. The resulting contacts among elements are the main factors determining orbital configuration. Here, we present a revision of the gekkotan circumorbital bones in the general context of the Lepidosauria. From observations of a sample of 105 species of gekkotans prepared using different techniques, we describe the main changes in the orbit and corroborate the presence or absence of some of the ambiguous elements such as the lacrimal and the jugal. The supraorbital bones of squamates are reviewed and some problems of homology are evaluated using recent phylogenenetic hypothesis. Anat Rec, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.