The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

Different islands in the Caribbean have very similar species of anole lizards, which each have their own place in the ecosystem. Researchers did several studies to determine whether the anoles evolved into the different species then migrated to the different islands or evolved independently on each island. Some key areas of focus within the video include: 

  • Reproductive isolation
  • Adaptation
  • Examining the speed, leg length, and toe pad size in regard to the ecosystem roles filled by each anole
Note: if the activity is included, the duration of the lesson moves to two 50-minute class periods.

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Classroom Considerations
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
Pros
  • Includes teacher background reading and a quiz for learners
  • Shows several different field tests with scientists going through the scientific method
  • Meets Next Generation Science Standards
Cons
  • None