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The brown anole is a type of lizard that lives on the islands of Turks and Caicos. It spends most of its time on the ground but escapes to the trees to avoid predators.
When Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the islands, most of the lizards were blown out to sea. Only some--the ones that were able to hold on to the trees--survived.
When scientists measured the survivors, they found that the average toepad size was 6-9% bigger than the average size before the hurricane. Toepads look like this.
The scientists wondered why, so they did an experiment exposing the anoles to high winds. When exposed to high winds, the anoles hold on with their front legs, like this.
As the winds get stronger and stronger, toepad size may affect the ability of the anole to hang on.
Scientists have not yet determined whether the trait of toepad size is heritable. What could they look at to determine inheritance?
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