May 14, 2010

Widespread Extinction Of Lizard Populations

When Brigham Young University biology professor Jack Sites spent summers in the late 1970s collecting lizards in Mexico, he had no idea his field notes would one day help form the foundation for a worldwide study that attributes local lizard extinctions to climate change. Sites is a coauthor on the paper published in this week’s issue of Science. Led by Barry Sinervo, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the study reports a global pattern of lizard die-offs in habitats unchanged except for rising temperatures. BYU biology professor Jack Sites, accompanied by a bearded dragon, discusses the paper he coauthored in Science that shows lizard die”‘offs attributable to climate change. Credit: Kenny Crookston/BYU

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