A Lizard Adapts to a Warmer Climate (The Washington Post)


Researchers at Dartmouth, along with colleagues at the University of Virginia, have found that the anolis lizard in the Bahamas is able to adapt and evolve to rising temperatures, providing a more positive outlook on the effect that global warming could potentially have on the species, reports The Washington Post.

“The evolution of these reptiles—a sort of micro-evolution—challenges the idea that lizards won’t be able to tolerate a rapidly warming climate and won’t have time to adapt over generations,” writes the Post.

“I think we were blown away,” Ryan Calsbeek, an associate professor of biological sciences and a co-author of the study, tells the Post. “The prediction is that these animals are hosed. If the climate warms a couple of degrees as climate scientists predict, we can kiss these animals goodbye.” The new study, says Calsbeek, shows “there probably is some salvation for them.”

Michael Logan, PhD ’14, is the lead author of the study, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the article notes.

Read the full story, published 9/16/14 by The Washington Post.

Office of Communications