The bright colors of the lizard world attract the interest of women looking for a mate. But they can also make colorful men look different as lunch.
Assistant Professor of Biology Lindsay Swireck is the first author of an article in the journal Evolutionary Ecology On the topic. This article, entitled “Intergenerational Variation in Significant Social Signals, Attaches to the Ratio of Lizard Forms in Experimental Experimentation,” describes clay models such as the water anales (Anolis aquaticus), a species of lizard found only in Costa Rica, and a small slice panama. The researchers conducted the experiment at the Las Cruces Biology Center in Costa Rica, one of the sites for tropical studies.
To attract the attention of women, the male anus has dewdrops: pigmented expandable skin under their chin. In most anole species, dewdrops stand out as much as possible in the environment, taking into account the predominant color and lighting conditions of the environment.
“Even so, we can see how different the bright dewdrops are in a species,” Swick said.
Some water anoles have dramatic red-orange flaps, while others have muted colors, rather than dark brown-red. The researchers wanted to determine the effect of these color variations on their predatory risk.
Although many assume that Flashire males will receive more attention from predators, few studies actually test this hypothesis. Logistics can be a factor: researchers need to distinguish the effect of sex colors from other aspects of an organism’s body and behavior, making it a difficult task when using real animals. As a result, many studies show a correlation but not a cause.
To prove that flasher men are more at risk of being attacked, the researchers created clay models with colored dew. Some are brighter, others are quieter. Many visual predators use a stereotype “search image” to identify prey, so models should approximate the average size, color, and shape of the annulus. However, the color of the dip requires special attention.
“Because different animals have more visual sensitivities than we humans do, getting the colors right was an important part of our design,” Swick explained. “Before this experiment we did a few pilot experiments. Be sure to convince our models that they were ‘lizards’. Many birds and other lizards were bitten by them so they definitely looked!”
The researchers were able to identify predators from the bite marks on clay models. They included many species of birds. Among the attackers were Basilisk and Whiptail lizards. The results showed that flasher lizards often end up having lunch.
If bright colors have deadly consequences, why does the female anode like them? One answer is that bright men have high-quality genetic material or resources that allow them to control the risk of overeating.
“Because the evolutionary ‘mission’ of every person in life is to copy as many genes as possible, if a person is to have a high level of reproductive success, such outstanding traits could evolve, and eventually they will,” Swick said.
The color of your clothes can be affected by organisms
L. Swireck et al., Intersex variability in a prominent social signal influences the attack rate of lizard patterns in an experimental experiment, Evolutionary Ecology (2020). DOI: 10.1007 / s10682-020-10085-7
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Excerpt: Glowing lizards are more attractive to mates and predators (December 1, 2020) Retrieved December 1, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-12-flashy-lizards-predators.html.
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