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Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

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Cold Blooded Cannibals
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Cold Blooded Cannibals

Mediterranean islands like this one serve as natural laboratories to demonstrate how resourceful species can be.

The Weather Is Great, But The Neighbors Can Kill You!

Humans flock to Mediterranean islands to enjoy fun in the sun. The cobalt blue waters, the warmth, the food; all interweave together to create a marvelous experience. Just the kind of escape many humans seek from their everyday lives. Of course, humans for the most part can leave the islands anytime they want. These beautiful islands provide a different experience for other animals who wind up on their shores and can't leave so easily.

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Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. What do mainland lizards around the Mediterranean Sea feed on primarily? How does their diet differ from lizards on islands in the Mediterranean Sea?
  2. Does this dietary change create problems for the lizards? Why or why not?
  3. How do lizards act as seed dispersers on Mediterranean islands? Why is this an unusual role for lizards?
  4. What function does cannibalism serve for these island lizards? Explain your answer as fully as possible and consider the metabolic requirements of these lizards.
  5. How may the plants on these islands respond if the lizard populations disappear?

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