When these reptiles became city lizards, it changed their genes• arclein
The variations urban Anolis cristatellus lizards have evolved include larger toe pads with more specialized scales that help them cling to smooth surfaces (walls, glass windows, etc.) and their longer limbs help them sprint across open areas. "Urbanization impacts roughly two-thirds of the Earth and is expected to continue to intensify, so it's important to understand how organisms might be adapting to changing environments," said Kristin Winchell, assistant professor of biology at New York University and the study's first author, in a statement. "In many ways, cities provide us with natural laboratories for studying adaptive change, as we can compare urban populations with their non-urban counterparts to see how they respond to similar stressors and pressures over short periods of time."