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 Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>