Effects of Predation on the Niche of Lizards
This activity guides the analysis of a published scientific figure from a study that investigated how a new predator affected the behavior of Bahaman anoles.
Between April 1996 and April 1997, a large lizard called Leiocephalus carinatus colonized a small island in the Bahamas. L. carinatus preys on smaller lizards, including the island’s native anole species Anolis sagrei. Because L. carinatus hunts for prey on the ground, A. sagrei can avoid this predator by perching on the branches of trees or shrubs. The figure shows the average perch height and perch diameter of A. sagrei before and after the colonization of L. carinatus.
The “Educator Materials” document includes a captioned figure, background information, graph interpretation, and discussion questions. The “Student Handout” includes a captioned figure and background information.
Student Learning Targets
- Analyze and interpret data from a scientific figure.
- Examine the impacts of an introduced or invasive species on other species in an ecosystem.
adaptation, anole, behavioral trait, colonization, introduced species, line graph, predator avoidance
Schoener, Thomas W., David A. Spiller, and Jonathan Losos. “Predation on a common Anolis lizard: can the food-web effects of a devastating predator be reversed?” Ecological Monographs 73, 3 (2002): 383–407. https://doi.org/10.2307/3100096.
HS-LS2-6; SEP2, SEP4, SEP5
2.D.1; SP1, SP2, SP5
Math.S-ID.3, Math.S-IC.1; MP2, MP5
CC5; DP2, DP3