Thursday, 7 November 2013

Feeling Blue: Gender-Bending Lady Lizards Miss Out on Love

For female fence lizards, it's just not easy being blue. For one, the guys all ignore you.

Brilliant blue markings on the neck and underbelly are male traits in fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus), but in some populations, as many as 95 percent of females boast similar, though fainter, markings. New research finds this decoration is no good for the scaly girls, and may even be an evolutionary remnant that could disappear from the species.

"Nobody's ever looked for the cost of these male-associated traits before," said study researcher Tracy Langkilde, a biologist at Pennsylvania State University.

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