The Lone Anole
This activity explores an image of an anole lizard, which serves as a phenomenon for learning about adaptations and natural selection.
Anoles are a diverse group of lizards with nearly 400 known species. This image shows a male Plymouth anole displaying its bright yellow dewlap, the flap of skin attached to its throat. Each anole species has a dewlap of a characteristic color and shape, as well as specific head bobbing and dewlap displaying behaviors. These traits help anoles communicate with members of the same species, attract mates, and ward off predators.
The “Educator Materials” document includes background information and implementation suggestions for using the image as a phenomenon. The “Student Handout” includes the image and background information.
Image by Jonathan Losos, Harvard University
Student Learning Targets
Examine images of phenomena, make observations, and ask questions.
Collaborate with peers on ideas, ask questions that require higher levels of reasoning, and develop deeper understanding of concepts.
Identify structures or behaviors that may be adaptations and explain what evidence would be needed to support such claims.
adaptation, Anolis, behavior, courtship, dewlap, reproduction, reproductive isolation, sexual selection, speciation
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS4-4, HS-LS4-5; SEP1
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.D, EVO-1.O; SP3
IB Biology (2016)
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.4, 2.6
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.F, ERT-2.H, SP2
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)