Lizard Evolution

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Lizard evolution explained, according to a report in Science vol. 304, p65, 2 April 2004. In a report entitled "How the Horned Lizard Got it Horns" biologists from Utah State University, Logan and Indiana University Bloomington, present "data from the wild, showing natural selection by loggerhead shrikes favors longer horns in the flat tailed horned lizard (Phrynosoma mcalli)." The biologists compared the horns of flat tailed horned lizards that have been killed by shrikes (predatory birds) with the horns of live lizards living in the same area, and found the live lizards had longer horns. They concluded that the lizards evolved horns in order to defend themselves against predators.

Editorial Comment: This is a real example of natural selection, but it is not evolution, and it certainly does not explain how the horned lizard got its horns. Natural selection is a real process, but it does not explain the origin of the feature that is being selected. To select something means to choose it from pre-existing options. In this case, long horn lizards are selected because they already had long horns. (Ref. lizard, horns, selection)

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