Jan 5, 2009

Species Divergence and Pink Iguanas

Charles Darwin gave the Galapagos fame, but the gave the pink iguana the shaft. In his defense, Darwin couldn't have possibly cataloged every species in the Galapagos (it's hard to visit more than 100 islands), but that's of little consolation to this lizard, who is only found on one of the islands, on the shoulders of a volcano. He's only recently received his fifteen minutes of fame. But maybe he'll be assuaged with the knowledge that my daughters are thrilled at the discovery of pink iguanas (pink anything evokes squeals).

Maybe you scientists and evolutionists can weigh in on this one. Genetic analysis of the pink iguana supposedly hints at species divergence far earlier than Darwin's famous finches. How does that impact the conclusions Darwin arrived at? The article gives some good cursory information, but doesn't bring it home. So what? What does that mean? Why? Why not? Who am I? What's for dinner? Where was I? Australia...no the Galapagos.



Anyone?

UPDATE: Lab Boy points out that Greg Laden has a good post on this creature (it's also a much better post than mine, since Greg actually knows what he's talking about, and he addresses the evolution angle head on).














Thanks for the article, Ida.


Photo source: Michael Kahn via Reuters via Yahoo!

10 comments:

Lab Boy said...

Greg Laden has a nice post about it: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/01/pink_iguanas_and_disappearing.php

Hole that helps.

Anonymous said...

"What does that mean? Why? Why not? Who am I? What's for dinner? Where was I? Australia...no the Galapagos."

Sounds like someone is suffering from baby induced sleep deprivation. :)

Flartus said...

What's for dinner? Why, pink iguana! Looks like it's all ready for the spit. I wonder...does it taste like bubblegum?

niner said...

Wow!! Gorgeous, gorgeous creature!

Anonymous said...

I hope this doesn't lead to the justification of the existance of purple or pink dinosaurs...

Bone Artist said...

My layman's guess is that the color might have something to do with the mineral content of the soil getting into the lizards' diet. Just a guess, but I seriously doubt that pink skin is very good for camouflage (unless you're among a bunch a of flamingos or in a bubblegum factory.)

Raging Wombat said...

If the storylines of my girls' favorite tales are true, then most likely these iguanas are pink because in reality they are princesses who have been transformed by an evil warlock and exiled to a volcanic island where they now await a princely rescue. But science has yet to weigh in on that theory.

Flartus said...

So..the guy in the hat is about to kiss the iguana to restore it to its natural beauty. Let's get video of that!

Leigh said...

A little while ago you introduced us to the shocking pink dragon millipede. Now it's a pink iguana. Could this be the start of a trend? I can hardly wait for the Giant Pink Orb Weaving Spider.

Raging Wombat said...

There are pink toed tarantulas...