Isolated communities, such as islands, are good places for ecologists to study how populations
change over time. Find out why isolation breeds change and visit a tropical island research
station. Learn about evolution by studying some of the unique animals that make these isolated
habitats their homes. Let curiosity be your guide as you examine live lizards and reef-dwelling
tropical fish, and find out why ecologists turn to island life for clues about the way evolution
Hands-on exhibits will show you how different animals get to an island, how beak size and
shape can offer a window on bird adaptation, and how isolation can foster characteristics like
dwarfism and gigantism.
- Observe island lizards called anoles and see how they’ve evolved over time to fill a variety of empty niches.
- Learn how the anoles have adapted to low lying, mid and tree top environments on the same banyan tree.
- Compare and contrast the physical differences between Knight, Brown and Orient Anoles first-hand.
- See a 7,000-gallon reef tank that is complete with a variety of Hawaiian reef fish including Millet Seed Butterflyfish, Kole Tang and Potter’s Angels.
- Learn why underwater reefs have a lot in common with islands and how scientists study them.
(*For more information, see Animals fact sheet.)
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