Hello, Anole Annals readers,
I work for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science Education Department. To support the anole film that Jonathan Losos talked about on this post, we developed a classroom activity to explore the morphology and the phylogeny of Caribbean anoles using photographs and DNA sequences. The resources are available from our BioInteractive.org website.
Students are given color photographs to sort different anole species into ecomorphs. Having grouped the species, they use an online phylogeny tool to build a phylogenetic tree from the DNA sequences from the same species. The results show that different species from the same islands cluster together, independent of the ecomorphs, suggesting that the ecomorphs are examples of convergent evolution. I’m sure Anole Annals readers are well-versed in this, but we tried to make the research accessible to high school teachers and students. Teachers are always looking for evolution resources that use actual DNA sequences.