This is a video of a marine iguana coming out of the water to join his friends.
From Yale University in the USA:
New Haven, Conn. — A before-and-after study led by Yale biologists, of the effects of 1997 El Niño on the genetic diversity of marine iguanas on the Galápagos Islands, emphasizes the importance of studying populations over time and the need to determine which environmental and biological factors make specific populations more vulnerable than others. …
“Since global warming is expected to cause an increase in the strength and frequency of El Niño events, it is important to evaluate the impact of El Niño on natural populations and their capacity to respond to environmental stresses,” said Gisella Caccone, senior research scientist in ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale, and senior author of the paper published this week in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.
In this study, the researchers investigated the effect of sea surface warming associated with the single, intense El Niño event of 1997 to 1998 on genetic diversity in Galápagos marine iguana populations. They found that populations within the same species responded very differently.
For marine iguanas living in the Galapagos Islands, an El Nino can be deadly. Some die from starvation while others survive. Scientists have long believed that the difference between life and death for the iguana depended on the animals’ ability to secrete the stress hormone corticosterone: here.
- Video Of The Day: Galápagos Islands Captured On A Cellphone (gadling.com)
- Old salt lizard at home in Darwin’s primal landscape (newscientist.com)
- New Silicon Valley in the Andes: Promise and paradox (ecuadoroverseasservices.wordpress.com)
- Galápagos Islands – “A Little World Within Itself” (losttribeofdan.wordpress.com)
- Pliocene El Nino (enn.com)