Is Living in Urban Areas an Acquired Taste?

IMG_1443We all know that some of our favorite anole species are abundant in urban settings, yet many others are not. Why is this? Do species have to evolve and adapt to city living? Maybe not. In what may be a surprising preliminary analysis, Kristin Winchell over on her blog Adaptability suggests that Caribbean anoles ancestrally had what it takes to live in human settings, and not being able to do so is an evolutionarily derived trait. Sounds crazy at first, right? Until you remember that anoles colonized these islands over water, and so to be successful, had to be flexible and able to cope with whatever life through at them–including, apparently, concrete sidewalks, trashcans, cars, and cats. Check out the details on Kristin’s post.

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.