The Suitcase Lady


July 24, 2012, 10:38 pm

Lizards do not cavort around in our backyard. The lizard family, however, is a favorite of mine, and I am fortunate enough to see many of them when I travel.

Although the vegetarian iguanas can grow to six feet and the fur ball spitting Komodos can reach 10 feet, the lizards I encounter in the south and southwest are usually in the three inch range. Watching wildlife is always fascinating, and these pint size lizards recently put on a good show.

We were staying on the ground floor of a hotel which had a view of the gravel, cactus and bushes outside the window. A steady stream of lizards were cavorting outside the window. Every few minutes one of them would stop abruptly and launch into a rapid series of tiny push ups.

Curious to know the reason for their humorous work outs, I turned to the computer and found the answer.

New research using robotic lizards indicates that anole lizards living in noisy environments do push ups to attract their neighbor’s attention. Traditional head-bobbing gestures do not work in high decibel urban settings; the more flamboyant push ups are an effective visual alert signal.

There is a lesson to be learned here. If you are feeling unnoticed or left out, throw yourself on the ground and do some quick push ups. Attention is guaranteed.

Click here to see the lizards in action.

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