Chapter

Are Anoles Special, and If So, Why?

Jonathan B. Losos

in Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780520255913
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943735 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520255913.003.0017
Are Anoles Special, and If So, Why?

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This chapter considers why anoles are so special and what the future holds for the lizards themselves. Anoles are ideal subjects for developing new approaches and testing important and general questions in a wide variety of fields such as phylogenetics, ecology, physiology, behavior and evolution. The interest in them stems from three factors: (1) the exceptional extent to which the adaptive radiation of anoles has been studied; (2) the great diversity and disparity exhibited by anole evolution; and (3) the replicated adaptive radiations in the Greater Antilles. The chapter also considers the factors responsible for the exceptional diversification of anoles, and concludes by discussing anole biodiversity and the extent to which it is likely to be imperiled in the years to come.

Keywords: anoles; adaptive radiation; anole evolution; Greater Antilles; anole biodiversity

Chapter.  12446 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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