HELP!! What is this foreign environment I am headed towards?
There are so many of us!
There is no food or water left for me!
Iguanas were originally on mainland South America but were introduced to the Galapagos islands either by being blown out to sea during a storm or set adrift on a fallen log. The iguanas that crossed over were already adapted to the environment on mainland South America and had small claws to climb trees and eat leaves as well as green skin to match the foliage around them. This helped them hide from predators.
I can't grip onto the rocks to eat food and I will be eaten by predators since I don't blend in!
On the Galapagos Islands, the iguanas reproduced rapidly leading to overproduction.
Now, we can all grip onto the rocks and hide from predators!
The large amount of iguanas had to compete for food, water, and shelter in this new environment.
I have short claws to climb trees to eat leaves and green skin to match the foliage around me!
The environmental pressures on the organisms helped those with specific traits thrive in their environments. The iguanas on the Galapagos islands that had large claws thrived because they needed to grip onto slippery rocks where they ate seaweed. The iguanas' skin color changed to a blackish color to match their environment and hide from predators.
HA! I can grip onto the rocks and hide from predators! Sucks to suck!
Through mutation and sexual reproduction, the iguanas that survived became better adapted to their environment. Through many generations, the Galapagos iguanas that had large claws and blended into their environment were more "fit" and produced more offspring, which had larger and larger claws and darker and darker skin throughout the generations. The organisms without these traits died off.
The iguanas adapting to their environments was a speciation event as the two species no longer resemble each other and are vastly different in regards to their traits. The South American iguanas have smaller claws to help them climb trees and eat leaves and are a greenish color to blend in to the foliage around them. The Galapagos iguanas have large claws to grip onto slippery rocks and eat seaweed and are a blackish color to blend into the rocks.
I have large claws to grip onto the slippery rocks to eat seaweed and dark skin to match the rocks around me!