Kirsten E. Nicholson, a Central Michigan University assistant biology professor, has just published a paper in PLoS ONE on her four-year study of Caribbean anoles that may provide a building block for future evolutionary studies.
PLoS ONE is a peer-reviewed online scientific journal from the Public Library of Science covering primary research within science and medicine.
In her study of 140 species of anoles on the Caribbean Islands, Nicholson disproved common theories for how anoles evolved by studying each species’ distinctive dewlap, a large skin flap beneath the throat.
The highly colorful dewlap has patterns distinctive to each species – sort of like a flying flag — and evolutionary biologists study it closely because the anoles fully extend these dewlaps as signals when mating or establishing territory.
Biologists have wondered whether anoles species that live in a very similar habitat, such as a tree top, also developed some of the same dewlap characteristics — a theory called ecomorph convergence. Other studies have found that anoles in similar micro-habitats have converged in many characteristics. But in her study, Nicholson found no support for the hypothesis: Species in the same micro-habitat were no more similar in their dewlap configuration than expected by chance.
Nicholson also studied whether anole species that co-exist tend to exhibit dewlaps that differ from each other– a theory called species recognition. Again, Nicholson found very little or no correlation.
One remaining theory to consider is that the dewlaps evolved through sexual selection, Nicholson said. She hopes to examine that in a future study.
Nicholson, who joined CMU in July, also serves as curator for natural history collections for CMU’s Museum of Cultural and Natural History at Central Michigan University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in science in 1991 at the University of Memphis, a master’s degree in science in 1995 at Auburn University in Alabama and a doctorate in biology in 2001 at the University of Miami.
Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences