Highlights • Lizards surviving wildfires are more alert to fire sound than those in unburned areas. • Lizards living in urban areas reacted to fire sound similarly to wildfire survivors. • Both natural and human-driven disturbances can shape the behaviour of animals. • Fires are likely to be an important selective pressure on animal behaviour.
Current phylogenetic evidence shows that fire began shaping the evolution of land plants 125 Ma, although the fossil charcoal record indicates that fire has a much longer history (>350 Ma). Serotiny (on-plant seed storage) is generally accepted as an adaptation to fire among woody plants.