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Lizards in an Evolutionary TreeEcology and Adaptive Radiation of Anoles$
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Jonathan Losos

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520255913

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520255913.001.0001

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Are Anoles Special, and If So, Why?

Are Anoles Special, and If So, Why?

(p.382) (p.383) 17 Are Anoles Special, and If So, Why?
Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

Jonathan B. Losos

University of California Press

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

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