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Lizard Virtual Lab Module 1

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What do the four groups of anoles (trunk-crown, twig, trunk-ground, and grass-bush) represent?
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Terms in this set (7)
Answer: four ecomorphs

The four types of anoles in this virtual lab are called ecomorphs. These are groups of lizards that occupy different ecological niches (i.e., "eco") and have different shapes or morphologies (i.e., "morph"). Ecomorphs are also referred to as habitat specialists. Many different species of anoles belong to each ecomorph group.
Answer: Relative tail length, relative hindlimb length, number of toepad lamellae.

Lizards in the different ecomorph groups can be distinguished according to multiple traits. Trunk-ground anoles have long legs, twig anoles have short legs, grass-bush anoles have long tails, and trunk-crown anoles have big toepads.
Answer: to control for the effects of body size when making comparisons.

For any anole species, larger lizards tend to have longer limbs and tails than smaller lizards. Even within a species, size differences can be substantial based on age and sex. Thus, it is necessary to calculate relative limb length to be able to determine whether an individual lizard has longer-than-average limbs or whether its limbs are longer just because the lizard is larger.
Answer: Anole species living high in the canopy have larger toepads and can cling to smooth leaves better than species found on tree trunks and on the ground.

Trunk-crown anoles have large toepads covered in microscopic hair-like structures, or setae, that allow them to cling to smooth leaves high up in the canopy. Lizards with bigger toepads are better adapted to this habitat because they are less likely to fall off the leaves. Species of lizards belonging to other ecomorphs have different traits that are also adaptations. For example, trunk-ground anoles have long legs that make them better adapted to running on broad surfaces, whereas twig anoles have short legs that enable them to scurry along small twigs and branches.
Answer: Ecomorphs

The islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico have different species of anoles, but most species belong to certain ecomorphs, such as trunk-crown, trunk-ground, grass-bush, and twig anoles. Note that there are actually five different ecomorphs on Puerto Rico and six on Hispaniola, but only four are discussed in this lab.
Answer: Both islands have similar habitats.

These ecomorphs are adapted to different habitats. For example, the trunk-ground anoles have long legs, which are well adapted to running on the ground. The fact that the same ecomorphs evolved on Puerto Rico and Hispaniola suggests that these islands have similar habitats.