The Earth is getting warmer, and we can see the effects of it – destructive floods, severe droughts, and intense storms. Just as we must look for ways to adjust to our changing environment, animals and plants must also adapt if they want to survive. 

We wanted to know how animals’ reproductive traits change to help them survive in warmer climates. We looked at dragonflies because the males use dark coloring on their wings to attract mates and intimidate rivals. We created a database to compare dragonflies living in warm climates to those living in cooler climates. We found that male dragonflies living in warmer climates have less wing coloring than those living in cooler climates. We also found wing ornamentation in warmer areas to be lighter in color. This is because the darker coloring can overheat the dragonfly and they become unable to reproduce. Lighter or reduced ornamentation is naturally selected when climates are warmer.

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About this article

Summary of research
Researchers compared the wing coloration of different dragonfly species to see how the color and amount of coloration changed depending on the climate.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
October 2021

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