Project 1108: M. D. R. Castañeda,E. Sherratt,J. B. Losos. 2014. The Mexican amber anole, Anolis electrum, within a phylogenetic context: implications for the origins of Caribbean anoles. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 172 (1):133–144.
Specimen: † Anolis electrum (UCMP/Vertebrates:68496)


Anoles are well known examples of adaptive radiation and convergent evolution. Their phylogenetic relationships have been intensely studied, but their fossil record remains fairly poor, limiting understanding of their evolutionary history. We present new data on Anolis electrum, the first discovered fossil anole and sole vertebrate described from Mexican amber, using x-ray Computed Tomography. We inferred the phylogenetic relationships of A. electrum and comment on its use in estimating the age of Anolis origins, which has significant relevance in explaining the presence of anoles on Caribbean islands. Anolis electrum is represented by two pieces of amber containing parts of the same individual. Partial squamation and skeleton details are well preserved, though only ten characters commonly used in phylogenetic analyses could be scored. The lack of informative characters resulted in A. electrum being inferred in 14 different places within four recognized subclades: Dactyloa, cristatellus series, darlingtoni series, and Norops, one of which corresponds to previously suggested close relationships. Results fail to support a suggested age estimation of 130 Myr for Anolis; consequently, the hypothesis of overwater dispersal as the explanation for the occurrence of anoles in Caribbean islands remains the most robust hypothesis.

Read the article »

Article DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12159

Project DOI: 10.7934/P1108,
This project contains
  • 29 Media
  • 1 Document
  • 1 Taxon
  • 2 Specimens
Total size of project's media files: 98 MB

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 1108


    member name taxa specimens media
    Emma Sherratt
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 01/13/14
    Maureen Admin
    Full membership
    Last logged in 01/13/14
    María del Rosario Castaneda
    Full membership
    Last logged in 01/08/14
    MorphoBank Curator
    Full membership
    Last logged in 05/05/15

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views30832
    Project overview3967
    Media views20455Media search (4350 views); M323753 (576 views); M323741 (541 views); M323766 (591 views); M323767 (556 views); M323740 (557 views); M323763 (592 views); M323760 (588 views); M323743 (525 views); M323735 (566 views); M323736 (612 views); M323762 (523 views); M323764 (581 views); M323744 (564 views); M323734 (559 views); M323737 (530 views); M323738 (593 views); M323739 (545 views); M323742 (566 views); M323745 (556 views); M323750 (549 views); M323751 (549 views); M323752 (524 views); M323754 (579 views); M323755 (501 views); M323756 (494 views); M323757 (602 views); M323758 (535 views); M323761 (527 views); M323765 (524 views);
    Specimen list2421
    Taxon list1468
    Documents list1650

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project247
    Document downloads9Data matrix. The Mexican amber anole, Anolis electrum, within a phylogenetic context: implications for Caribbean anoles origins (9 downloads);
    Project downloads235
    Media downloads3M323741 (1 download); M323742 (1 download); M323740 (1 download);