Richard Branson Posts on Anoles!

Anolis cristatellus on Necker Island, British Virgin Islands, which is owned by Richard Branson. Photo by Charlie Smith.

That’s right, that Richard Branson, the Virgin Group magnate. Check it out here.

About Jonathan Losos

Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. I've spent my entire professional career studying anoles and have discovered that the more I learn about anoles, the more I realize I don't know.

11 thoughts on “Richard Branson Posts on Anoles!

  1. Jonathan –

    Nice photo!

    Has there ever been any research on the idea, proposed by Paul Hertz (I believe) and described in the 3rd Anolis Newletter (p. 24, link here – warning, large PDF), that the tail crest may have a secondary function in thermoregulation? I was not able to find any evidence of this in the literature or in your book. My own (anecdotal & entirely non-quantitative) observation supports the claim that tail crest height decreases with altitude (a strong correlate of temperature in Puerto Rico).

    – Liam

    1. I don’t think so. There’s been talk by various people about working on anole crests, but I don’t think anyone’s ever followed through.

  2. I think we need to get some naturalists to Necker to help educate Sir Branson on the natural history of his island. In another blog post, he says that Necker has more species than any other island. This claim might be tongue and cheek, but in the same post he laments the near extinction of red-footed tortoises from Necker. These tortoises, of course, are native to South America and are likely only on Necker because humans introduced them there. His heart is in the right place, but somebody needs to help him get his facts straight.

    1. Curious. The offending post is here and it does not seem tongue-in-cheek. Perhaps he needs to hire some underpaid junior faculty in biology to serve as ecological advisors on his blog posts. . . .

  3. Necker does have a very rich fauna For Its Size. Neither of the other common VI anoles (stratulus and pulchellus) occur there. Folks in the VI believe the red-legged tortoises are native and their bones are in middens. Sir Richard has introduced Aldabra tortoises, several species of birds, and ring-tailed lemurs! He does need education…. See:

    Lazell, J. 2005. Island…. U. Cal. Berkeley Press.

    Lazell, J. 2006. Natural Necker. TCA Occ. Paper 3: 1-56.

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