A developmental staging series for the lizard genus Anolis: A new system for the integration of evolution, development, and ecology

Authors

  • Thomas J. Sanger,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri 63130
    • Department of Biology Washington University, Campus Box 1229, 1 Brookings Drive Saint Louis, MO 63130
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  • Jonathan B. Losos,

    1. Department of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri 63130
    Current affiliation:
    1. Museum of Comparative Zoology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
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  • Jeremy J. Gibson-Brown

    1. Department of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri 63130
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Abstract

Vertebrate developmental biologists typically rely on a limited number of model organisms to understand the evolutionary bases of morphological change. Unfortunately, a typical model system for squamates (lizards and snakes) has not yet been developed leaving many fundamental questions about morphological evolution unaddressed. New model systems would ideally include clades, rather than single species, that are amenable to both laboratory studies of development and field-based analyses of ecology and evolution. Combining an understanding of development with an understanding of ecology and evolution within and between closely related species has the potential to create a seamless understanding of how genetic variation underlies ecologically and evolutionarily relevant variation within populations and between species. Here we briefly introduce a new model system for the integration of development, evolution, and ecology, the lizard genus Anolis, a diverse group of lizards whose ecology and evolution is well understood, and whose genome has recently been sequenced. We present a developmental staging series for Anolis lizards that can act as a baseline for later comparative and experimental studies within this genus. J. Morphol., 2008. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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