In this experimental study, there will be two main hypotheses tested.
Green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) change color from green to brown, and while it is known how, it is not yet known why. Although there have been multiple field studies investigating what causes green anoles to change color, the data has been inconclusive. This is why an experimental study is necessary to try to determine the cause of the color change.
In this experimental study, there will be two main hypotheses tested:
The first is the thermoregulation hypothesis. I will be testing this by establishing separate light and heat sources, and turning them on and off for different scenarios. If anoles change color for thermoregulation, then they would turn brown more frequently when the heat is off and the light is on.
The second hypothesis is the effect of increased stress. Stress will be induced by sliding a red disk towards the anoles multiple times at a high speed. Any color change that occurs within the red disk moving and the following 10 minutes will be documented as stress-induced.
I will not be able to test the social signaling hypothesis due to feasibility. The social signaling hypothesis states that anoles alter their color as a form of intraspecific communication. Because funding and space is limited, I do not have the capacity to house male anoles, as each one needs his own setup. Therefore, testing only females is the only feasible option, and by doing so, the social signaling hypothesis will not be able to be tested, as this hypothesis pertains mainly to males.
To raise funding for this project, I am using an all or nothing crowdfunding platform called Experiment. As fellow reptile lovers, I hope that you can help support my scientific endeavors by visiting my project page. All forms of support are greatly appreciated, from donations, to telling your friends about the project, or even by just reading my project page and commenting your thoughts! Whatever the contribution, I am very grateful, and am simply excited to be able to share my excitement about this research with all of you!
If you wish to learn more about this project, you can visit the project page, “What drives the color change in green anoles?”, where I have posted my methodology, protocols, and will be posting continuous updates on the progression of the project. If you become a contributor, you will have exclusive access to more updates, and will be able to learn more about the research.
My project page stops accepting donations on November 1st at 12:00 AM PT, so be sure to make your way over to the page by then to give your support!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope that you will explore the project page, and help support this cool and unique research!