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Warming extinguishing lizards

The worst-case scenario of the consequences of global warming - mass extinctions - appears to be a reality for lizards, according to a new report in Science. The authors found that 12 percent of local populations of lizards have already disappeared from hundreds of sites in Mexico. Furthermore, within the next 70 years, the authors predict that 1 in 5 lizard species will no longer exist anywhere on the planet, all the result of rising global temperatures.Sceloporus occidentalisImage: Wikimedia

Lauren Urban
The worst-case scenario of the consequences of global warming - mass extinctions - appears to be a reality for lizards, according to a new report in Science. The authors found that 12 percent of local populations of lizards have already disappeared from hundreds of sites in Mexico. Furthermore, within the next 70 years, the authors predict that 1 in 5 lizard species will no longer exist anywhere on the planet, all the result of rising global temperatures.
Sceloporus occidentalis
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Pierre Fidenci
Although a growing amount of data is showing the impact of climate change on species, these lizard extinctions were somewhat surprising, said linkurl:Jack Sites,;http://lifesciences.byu.edu/DirectoriesInformation/Directories/FacultyStaff/tabid/166/ctl/FacultyProfile/mid/2944/FacultyID/66/Default.aspx an evolutionary geneticist from Brigham Young University, and last author on the paper. "I had always presumed that lizards would be able to adapt to climate change by simply altering their behavior," he said. "However, this is not the case." Rather,...
SceloporusB. Sinervo et al., "Erosion of lizard diversity by climate change and altered thermal nichese," Science:328:894-9, 2010.



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