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Predator-driven natural selection on risk-taking behavior in anole lizards

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Science  01 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6392, pp. 1017-1020
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap9289

Predation favors the unadventurous

Selection is likely to shape behavior by acting on behavioral differences between individuals. Testing this idea has been challenging. Lapiedra et al. took advantage of a chain of small islands in the Caribbean colonized by anole lizards. A series of repeated behavioral selection experiments were set up in which brown anole populations were established with and without predators. On predator-free islands, animals that were more exploratory were favored, whereas when predators were present, less adventurous animals survived better. Selection for behavior occurred simultaneously with morphological selection but was predominant when predators were present.

Science, this issue p. 1017