Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lizard Project Day 12: Almost all the lizards are marked and we're getting ready for a special guest.

Today we were very happy to see that almost all the lizards on our islands have stylish numbers on their sides.  This means that we have already captured and marked them and that means that our work here is almost done for this trip.

We have been having so much fun doing science down here that is seems hard to believe that we only have a couple of days left before we have to head back home.  We will be returning on home with notebooks full of data to analyze and we can't wait to answer some of our many questions. Does the sex ratio effect survival?  Is natural selection working differently on male and female dominated islands? Are growth rates the same on all of our islands? Does the dewlap size really matter when it comes to survival and reproduction? We will soon have answers these questions and more and we are looking forward to that.  

However, we are not quite done yet here and we want to make the most of our last few days. Tomorrow we have a special guests joining us and we are really looking forward to it.

Tomorrow, National Geographic photographer Vincent Musi and his family will be arriving here at the field station.  I met Vincent at the TEDxMidwest conference last year in Chicago. I happened to sit down next to him and his wife Callie (also a profesional photographer) at lunch. We started talking and I told him that I did science with lizards that was supported by National Geographic. He told me that he makes photos for National Geographic.  I asked him how I could take better lizard pictures.  He got so excited about giving me photo advice that about 15 minutes later we were planning his trip to meet up with the lizard project and take pictures of our lizards.  We are thrilled that he is coming down.  Vince is well known for making animal photos and, although he usually works with slightly larger animals, we can't wait to see the pictures he is going to make with our little lizards. Check out some of Vince's latest work with National Geographic if you want to see why we are so excited to have him shoot our lizards. 

He's a bit bigger than our lizards. Photo by Vincent J. Musi in National Geographic.

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