Island Zone Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet / January 10, 2021

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 works.

Exhibit Highlights:

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.

Anole Enclosure

  • 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.

Reef Exhibit

  • 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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