These Lizards Have Been Playing Rock-Paper-Scissors for 15 Million Years

Most species use one way of attracting a mate, whether through physical displays, alluring sounds, or aggression. The side-blotched lizards use three different ways, providing balance to their ecosystem. While the males use their own methods to attract females, females show a preference for the underdog, thus keeping the numbers stable over millions of years.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Play roshambo during class
  • Discuss the benefit of having three variations of the same species living in balance
Classroom Considerations
  • Show the video when studying animal adaptations, evolution, desert environments, or lizards
Pros
  • Subtitles benefit English learners, visual learners, and note takers
  • High definition video shows the differences in the skin tones of the lizards
Cons
  • None