Island Reptiles Buck an Evolutionary Trend

The Caribbean island of Martinique has a lot to offer: beautiful beaches, tropical weather, and a perfect place to challenge notions about how new species arise.

When anole lizards (Anolis roquet) arrived on Martinique more than 8 million years ago, there were four separate, smaller islands. Over time, this physical isolation should have allowed the lizards to evolve into different species, according to conventional evolutionary wisdom. But that’s not what happened.

One of the best ways to split a species is allopatric speciation. That’s when some sort of physical barrier separates individuals from the same population, causing them to eventually become so genetically distinct that they can no longer interbreed. A famous example is Darwin’s finches, which started out as a single species but adapted over millions of years to the various environments of the Gal├ípagos Islands, eventually becoming 13 species.

Read full story HERE.

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About Candace M Hansen

Wildlife advocate, conservationist and environmentalist.
This entry was posted in Lizards. Bookmark the permalink.

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