Why did scientists put lizards on a stick and blast them with a leaf blower? They wanted to know how hurricanes affect natural selection.
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Before hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, scientists went to the Turks and Caicos archipelagos to study lizards. They collected small-bodied anole lizards and set up a hurricane simulation. They created wind using a leaf blower and observed lizards’ reactions. The scientists found that lizards with larger toepads and longer forelimbs could better grasp the dowel, which represented a tree branch a lizard would cling to in a hurricane. Experts say future studies could look at how other natural disasters affect animal evolution.
Read more in “This Secret Skill Helps Lizards Survive Hurricanes”
Scientists Use Leaf Blowers to Study Natural Selection | National Geographic