Monday, September 1, 2014

Hawaii 4

Aloha sagrei
An Ole. 

And finally we have the infamous anoles. While these lizards may not seem as pretty as the day geckos, they make up for their otherwise bland coloration with retractable colorful flaps of flesh under their throat. Now doesn't that sound attractive? Maybe if you were a lady lizard.

Lizard doing the neck thing again.
*wolf whistle*

Actually, it seems that the lady anoles probably care about this wonderful appendage just as much as you, but the color and timing is important in species recognition and differs between species of anoles. Just check out how the green anole's dewlap is totally different from the brown anole's dewlap. They're practically different species.

Although there are over 400 anoles in the world only the one in the above video is a native resident of the United States. But now a handful of species are running amok in Florida, the most common invader being the brown anole. The brown anole is so fat and mean and beats up his green cousins. They then go hide in the treetops where the brown anoles cannot reach because they are so fat and mean. This has been scientifically proven in areas where the two species overlap. 

A great view of the hyoid apparatus in action, the bone behind the ear and jaw that's responsible for the movement of the dewlap.

If you have too much free time on your hands, you may notice that the brown anole only slightly bobs his head while the green anole would fit in at a thrash metal concert. Unfortunately, I didn't get the full display of the brown anole, but it would probably look slightly different from the green anole's performance. 

"Green" anole
The "green" anole can be quite brown. 

Well, there are many other facts about these anoles (about seven), but there isn't enough time in the day to blog about all of them. This concludes the wonderful pictorial walkthrough of the reptiles (and amphibian) I saw while in paradise. More pictures can be found here. We'll be back with more thrilling stories from the second most exciting place on earth: upstate New York. 

The Majestic Brown Anole

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