Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrea Liebl

Third Advisor

Dr. Jacob Kerby


Anolis, sprint performance, ecomorph, adaptive radiation

Subject Categories

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Anolis lizards have become model organisms for the study of adaptive radiation and convergent evolution due to repeated patterns of specialization that allow them to live in different environmental niches within the habitats they occur. As part of a suite of adaptations for living in specific habitats, many species have repeatedly evolved specific changes in anatomy and physiology that make them better able to perform and survive in their surroundings. These specialized forms are referred to as “ecomorphs” based on their preferred habitats and have been well documented among Caribbean anoles. Mainland species, on the other hand, are less studied. Here, focusing on two mainland species of anoles, Anolis biporcatus, a highly arboreal species, and A. osa, a more terrestrial species, I ask if differences in ecomorph type has led to changes in how incline impacts sprint performance. To do so, I analyzed sprint trials for individual of each species running on inclines from 0-60º and tested for effect differences. The results indicate that although the two species differ in their overall performance, they largely show similar effects of incline. A. biporcatus, however, exhibits a performance limit in their ability to generate sufficient power to elevate their body center of mass above 45º inclines, which is not observed in A. osa. This limit may be constrained by the increased habitat variability of the latter species with respect to incline.



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