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Re: Testing for arboreality

Mickey Rowe wrote:
> Losos is one of a group of individuals who
> have been studying the evolution of morphotypes in Caribbean anoles
> (in case you don't know, these are lizards).  Most Caribbean islands
> have species of anole inhabiting various terrestrial and arboreal
> microhabitats.  For instance, some anoles spend most of their time
> clinging to tree trunks while others spend most of their time higher
> up in the branches, and still others generally avoid trees.  It's not
> necessarily the same species inhabiting the same microhabitats on each
> island, and that's what makes the animals particularly interesting.

Even more interesting, from what I've read of the study the same species
of anole developed different body forms on different islands, depending
on the specific vegetation available. These changes came about in
populations that were introduced to these islands much faster than
random mutation would allow, suggesting that phenotypic plasticity was
responsible for the rapid changes in body form. Those lizards that lized
on islands with mostly dense low-lying brush tended to have shorter
limbs, while those on islands with trees tended to to have the more
scansorial/arboreal body forms (longer limbs, etc). This is all from
memory, mind you, so please correct me if I've got things wrong.


        Dann Pigdon
        GIS Archaeologist
        Melbourne, Australia

        Australian Dinosaurs: