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.

6 comments:

  1. Elizabeth Tellez: 3rd Period: ZoologyApril 12, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Wish you and your team the best of luck on this huge task.

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  2. Itzel Ruiz- 3rd periodApril 12, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Will you and your team go back every year to check your data, if so will it be at the same time each year (ex. Spring) if you do?

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  3. Ten years is a lot of time, but all of your team is filled with enthusiastic & dedicated scientists, and I know for a fact that you guys are able to accomplish this experiment!

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  4. Elizabeth- thanks for the luck. We need a bit of luck!

    Itzel- Dr. Warner and Alexis Harison will be back in the fall to measure the cirst generation of hatchlings out on the islands. If I can get away from Kelly for a couple of days in the fall I will come too. Dr. Warner is planning on working here on these islands for many years to come. I have a feeling that I will be involved with this project for a long time as well. Dr Warner is planning to come 3 times per year.

    Mayra - Thanks for the vote of confidence.

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  5. Are you afraid if all the islands will somehow be flooded and cause all the lizards to drown? Sorry if this will worry you. :(

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