The Fringe-toed Lizard

     During his Masters study at UCLA, Ken Norris and Warren Porter studied the camouflage capabilities of the Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma scoparia).  They noticed how closely the skin resembled the blurred pinkish desert from far away, while up close you could tell the skin was actually a multicolored array to mimic the many particles that make up the dunes. Through the use of a spectrophotometer which would create spectrum maps of the colors reflected by the sand and the lizard. How their spectrums diverged and converged would indicate the ability to camouflage.
     They discovered with this device that the Uma had nearly identical curves of reflected light. The only divergence occurred in the far-light and infrared segments of the spectrum. This divergence added new questions to their research. Why would the Uma diverge in any way from the sand? Wouldn’t this divergence cause predators to find them more often?
     Following these questions led to the groundbreaking conclusion that part of the reason the lizards did not camouflage in the red spectrum was due to the inability of eyes, humans and other predators alike, can not discriminate tones easily in the red spectrum. This means that the lizard species specifically adapted and evolved with the knowledge that their predators couldn’t see them in those spectrums, making it unnecessary to use energy to conceal in these spectrums. He proved with this study, all species are linked in some way evolutionarily.
     The differentiation in the infrared was so extreme that the lizard would appear black while the sand appears white in this scale of light. The reason for this as discovered by Ken Norris with much thought was to gain heat as quickly as possible when the day begins. Gaining heat quickly is important for ectothermic animals such as lizards to function effectively in their environment.