Wide World Science: Lizard Project!

Mar 25, 2012 By Aaron Reedy, Dan Warner and Tim Mitchell

We are excited to present the very first "Youngzine Live!" series by Aaron Reedy. Aaron and the rest of the team are working on a National Geographic funded Lizard Project and are passionate about bringing science from the field to classrooms. Meet the 3 members of the team here.

From March 28 to April 10, they will be providing field updates from the islands of Florida, and answering questions from Youngzine readers and classrooms. Be sure to check out this page everyday, read the latest blogs and tweets, and ask any questions that come to your mind!

Aaron Reedy will be doing live sessions with interested children/classrooms on his return. If you would like to participate, please send us an email at editor@youngzine.com

Living Laboratories

Blog Posts - Season II

Day 5 & 6: Lots of Lizards!

Oct 4, 2012 By Tim Mitchell

(Reprinted Courtesy of Tim's Fertile Turtles Blog)

Anole Eating Anole!

Green anole eating a brown anole
Today we had another first for the Lizard Project.  While on island H capturing lizards, we found a green anole eating a brown anole.  While other people had previously observed this happening, we had not seen this on our islands, until today. 

As I was looking for lizards, some rustling on a nearby palm frond got my attention.  Expecting it to be a lizard to noose, I crouched down ready to capture it.  Thats when I found an adult green anole munching on a hatchling brown anole. The brown anole was still alive and struggling, but looked like the struggle was going to be futile.  This was an exciting find for us.

Oct 3, 2012 By Tim Mitchell

We found eggs!

Earlier this week I wrote a post about a nest-site choice study that Aaron and Dan had done in the lab. However, anole nests are notoriously difficult to study in the field- very little is known about anole nesting. However today, we found two anole eggs on one of our islands, which was very exciting for us.

Reptiles have varied reproductive  strategies.  Some give live birth, which is known as viviparity. Most reptiles, however, are oviparous, which means they lay eggs.  And most of these oviparous reptiles lay many eggs in a single clutch.  Anoles, however, lay a single egg at a time.  We are not certain why anoles lay only one egg, but this is a question some evolutionary biologists have studied.  One hypothesis is that the female can escape predators more easily by only carrying one egg at a time. There are many other intriguing hypotheses, however.

Whatever the reason, we were excited to find two anole nests (which consisted of one egg each!). Check it out


Previous Blog Posts - Season I

 
Faith-Emmanuela   2 weeks ago

aw thats cool

DKmoon   3 weeks ago

Pretty coolio

El-Miracle   3 weeks ago

whoa you know a lot plus lizards are kinda interesting to me now...

kris10g   4 weeks ago

COOL

Aditya08   15 weeks ago

Is that type of lizard rare?

daisyf   16 weeks ago

thats kool i like lizards i like the smaller ones more

micheal1231   26 weeks ago

cool!!!!

chloev   31 weeks ago

I like lizards and some of them are cute

Naia.   32 weeks ago

Awesome! Lizards are really interesting!!!!

sachaa   36 weeks ago

cool!!!!!!!!!11111

edwardh   41 weeks ago

wow cool sweet

kirag   42 weeks ago

I love lizzards

Jon444   44 weeks ago

Very very cool

vishnuug   44 weeks ago

Cool

srinidhi12   49 weeks ago

sweet and cute

Rayan1   1 year ago

i love lizzerds but
i dont now why but they
somtimes make me lagh

Rafah   1 year ago

cool

alexa2   1 year ago

i love frogs i catch tem at my campground

christiant2 (not verified)   1 year ago

sweet

Mia1789   1 year ago

I like and dont like lizards, I like lizards because I think they are very cute and I dont like lizards because I dont like to touch them.

chingling   1 year ago

WOW I'm sorry I missed this!!!

brookek   1 year ago

OMGN IDK what a brown anole was

123456789   1 year ago

sweet

cupcakequeen   1 year ago

wow, the lizard is soooooooooooooo small!

Olivia123   2 years ago

Good article! I love lizards, we have a lot in our backyard so we catch them and with that I learned to love them!

Ria Shah   2 years ago

WOW AARON YOU SURE KNOW A LOT

trevorg   2 years ago

How do you know if the sharpie marker that you marked the lizards with didn't wash off?

maryd   2 years ago

Lizards are cool.

nathanael1   2 years ago

lizards are my favorite creature ever

how far away is the island you are going to visit

aaron i own 2 crested geckos have you found those before? $$
=

Rap   2 years ago

What do you use to write the numbers on the lizards?

Aaron Reedy1   2 years ago

We use a black sharpie permanent marker. It is one of the most useful tools in field biology!

Rap   2 years ago

Where can we learn about the results of your research? Will it be posted here?

Aaron Reedy1   2 years ago

See my comments to Zoom. It will still be several months until we can share results with the world.

Aaron Reedy1   2 years ago

Unfortunately, science moves at a fairly slow pace sometimes. We are working on analyzing the data now and doing all of the genetic tests on our tail samples. We hope to have something to share in about 6 months.

Zoom   2 years ago

Are you going to go back to the islands sometime?

Aaron Reedy1   2 years ago

We are working to schedule a trip for October to go back to collect babies as this year's eggs will be hatching soon.

diamond   2 years ago

Do you think you will find any other animals besides the glass lizard that may have eaten some of the anole lizards on the island? Will you look for any evidence of the lizards being eaten because that may make a difference in the number of lizards, won't it?

Aaron Reedy1   2 years ago

Yes, we also found black racer's (a type of snake) and many herons and egrets (birds) that all eat lizards. You can be sure that they are eating the lizards. The evidence we look for is mostly just the general population size. We know that predators can influence the populations, but our experiment is not designed to test the strength of the effect that predators are having on the population.

Arjun   2 years ago

This seems to be a more generalized experiment and you could use any animals.

So why did you guys choose lizards?

timsturtles   2 years ago

Hi Arjun,
Great question! Part of the reason we chose the project, is that this experiment is generalizable, and our results may generally apply to many or most sexual animals. Lizards are abundant, short-lived, there is some evidence that they can invest differently in the sexes, and are easy enough to work with. Also, most studies researching these questions don't use vertebrates, so this experiment is more relevant to all sorts of vertebrates.

Plus, Lizards are totally awesome!

Tim

stephaniek   2 years ago

i dont like lizards

cupcakequeen   1 year ago

hey, i think they are cute!

Aaron Reedy1   2 years ago

We're crazy about 'em. What is your favorite animal?

maryd   2 years ago

Dolphins.

diamond   2 years ago

Did the glass lizard evolve from the Anole lizards that you had introduced to the islands? Or if not, which lizard species did it evolve from?

How many lizards have you already caught? How many do you hope to catch and when will you know that you have finished your field data collection?

timsturtles   2 years ago

Hi Diamond,
Great questions. The glass lizard did not evolve from the island lizards, but they do share a common ancestor. You did not evolve from your cousin, but your grandmother is you and your cousin's most recent common ancestor. Anoles and Glass lizards most recent common ancestor was around about 170 Million years ago!

We just caught 135 lizards today. We got about 300 so far this trip, we think, although we didn't do an exact number. We hope to catch every lizard on every island. We mark them, and rerelease them, so when all the lizards we encounter are already marked, we probably have finished this round of data collection,

Tim

JENNAH H_C   2 years ago

glass lizard???

Zoom   2 years ago

Where did you get the lizards?

Do you name your lizards?

timsturtles   2 years ago

Hi Zoom,
We caught the lizards from the mainland, and brought them out to the islands. We mostly caught them along landscaping in front of a grocery store, along a bike path, and at a golf course. These lizards are very common here in Florida.

Tim

Vishesh   2 years ago

Will these experiments damage any parts of the lizard's bodies? I hope not.

To add comments...
 
Javascript is required to view this map.