Species’ Anatomy Changed by Hurricane

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A report conducted by researchers suggest that the Caribbean lizard which survived the hurricane season from 2017 have now large pads on both back and front limbs. It is the first one to demonstrate such effects. The Atlantic Ocean region experienced their first hyperactive hurricane season in 2017.

2017 was the year of hurricanes. It started in August with Harvey, followed by Irma a few weeks later and then in September hurricane Maria. The winds of these storms touched speeds of 201km/h.

The tropical anole lizards living in Turks and Caicos’ remote cays both died and did not.

Right time, right place

Washington University’s biology professor from St. Louis, Jonathan Losos, says ”

“Hurricanes are in the news, and it seems that they’re becoming more destructive. Something like this has never been documented before because it’s so difficult. The timing had to be just right.”

Harvard University’s postdoctoral researcher, Colin Donihue, was caught by Hurricane Irma unarmed last September while wrapping up his research instruments.

On 8th of September 2017, the hurricane made landfall. After getting the news, he realized his lizard research might come in handy this time more than for his initial goal.

Before these hurricanes occurred, he was the only one to have some data about these lizards.

What should be expected?

Apparently, these storms have more consequences than expected when it comes to these cute lizards. It will change their following generations as well.

The priorities of the Caicos and Turks government were others than the well being of the lizards. They needed to give their people electricity, clean water, and shelter with no internet or phone service.

Due to Donihue’s connections, he could get in touch with a government scientist, and they decided to start another research which resulted in the discovery of the lizards’ grown pads.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.