January 02 2013
Dr. Randall Morrison, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at McDaniels College, gave a lecture entitled Island Lizard Diversity: Comparing the Bahamas and Madagascar, on November 9, 2012, as part of Elmira College’s Lecture Series in the Sciences.
In his lecture, Dr. Morrison described the paucity of Bahamian reptiles relative to those found in Madagascar. He is interested in the role of color in both these low and high lizard diversity environments. Dr. Morrison has been investigating both size and color sexual dimorphism in anoles and curly-tail lizards on San Salvador in the Bahamas. Color polymorphisms in particular seem to be involved in structuring these lizard communities. In reptiles from Madagascar, rapid color change is much more common. Dr. Morrison presented a novel model to explain color change in chameleons. There is also a tremendous range of reptile diversity in Madagascar including lizards who primarily use color and color change for camouflage (leaf-tail geckos), signaling (chameleons) and temperature regulation (day geckos).
This was the final lecture in the 2012 Elmira College Lecture Series in the Sciences.