Climate change poses a significant threat - perhaps the most significant threat - to wildlife across the earth. In response to shifting ecosystems, creatures from sharks to polar bears, bald eagles to salamanders have had to change the way they live. And species at home in the tropics - those already tolerating extreme heats - are often considered particularly vulnerable as the globe warms up.
But some reptiles might be able to evolve to beat the heat. Scientists from Dartmouth University in New Hampshire and the University of Virginia recently measured the ability of brown anole lizards to thrive in a "stressful thermal environment." To see how hotter temperatures impacted the anoles' survival skills, the researchers clocked the sprint times of several lizard populations in the Bahamas. (Sprinting is the key to success, if you're an anole - quick legs allow you to snag prey and escape predators.)
They relocated one group of lizards from a cool forest in the interior of a Bahamas island to a peninsula that experienced hotter, more volatile temperatures. The lizards who were most successful on the peninsula sped up, staying more active in the daylight and having more time to catch food.