Monday, April 11, 2011
We have almost pulled it off.
First things first- thanks for all your posts with great questions. You guys are making this into a very cool educational experience. Dan, Alexis and I are glad to have you following along. We have been working truly insane hours the last couple of days to get the lizards ready to be released on our nine experimental islands. Last night we worked all night and never went to sleep. Today we took a 3 hour nap and are right back at it. There is so much to do. 812 lizards need to be weighed, measured, sorted by size and sex. If you remember from the in class presentation we are creating 9 different island populations where the ratio of males to females will be different. Some will have lots of males and some will have more females. We are doing this to test the hypothesis that the sex ratio will have an effect on which traits get selected for. The idea is that we suspect that on an island with more males, competion for mates will be the greatest selection pressure on the males in the population. On an island with more females, traits like the ability to choose nest sites and get away from predators while carrying eggs might be selected for. We will kayak out to the islands tomorrow with the lizards to release them to their new homes so the experiment can begin. This experiment may last as long as 10 years. Every year the lizards will be collected and we will do dna testing to see which lizards in the origional population had the most reproductive success. Tomorrow is a big day. Now it's time to get some sleep.