Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CMU researcher publishes anole lizard findings

07.03.2007
Hundreds of species of anoles roam the Caribbean Islands and parts of North and South America, a highly diverse and colorful small lizard that scientists have studied in hopes of unlocking the secrets of evolution.

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.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plosone.org
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000274

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>