AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Island Lizards More Tame

A study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of California, Riverside, Indiana University, Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and George Washington University showed that lizards from islands are more calm then ones from mainland regions. The researchers established this by comparing the flight initiation distance, or distance before a prey starts to flee when approached,  between various lizards. The researchers were able to approach island lizards more closely then mainland lizards. The study was inspired by a long-time debate that island animals were more “tame” that started with an observation by Charles Darwin when he visited the Galapagos Islands. He felt that because these islands were scarce of most predators, those animals which did not waste energy fleeing unnecessarily would have a better chance of survival. All of this being said the findings were inconclusive.There are many variables that factor in to flight initiation distance and can not be categorized by where a creature lives. Reptile_tx_usa

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  1. danasaurus

    I can’t blame the lizards for being more tame on nice islands! I can definitely see why the researchers would think that a scarce number of predators would be a contributing factor. I found this great article that sides with the idea that lizards on on islands are calmer:

  2. celine2

    This is really interesting! I would have never thought of a difference between the tameness of island or mainland animals of the same species. Here is a link based on the same experiment, which explains the Darwin observations that this experiment had confirmed:

    Here is another link, published one day before the article explaining the experiment was published, confirming the same results as the experiment:

  3. rubinka

    Great post termitelover! I liked how you included the process the scientists used to come about their findings, and how you related these new modern techniques to their start in Charles Darwin’s work.

    Here’s another article about this!

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