Do you want to cuddle? It makes me feel safe.

Is this really worth it? I was asking myself while trying to balance my weight on the slanted old tree which I had climbed, the mountain stream beneath me gurgling around glistening rocks in the humid night. I stretched out my left arm as far as possible while clinging onto the tree with my right, to snap a probably completely out-of-focus and missing-the-object-of-focus picture with my trusty waterproof Pentax. While pushing the releaser button, I noticed some parts of the old tree I was holding on to slowly giving away. A flash, a thump, and I found myself suddenly clinging to another part of the tree, while the green power diode of my camera now flickered at me from the bottom of the stream. Great, I thought, you’ve ruined your camera for a picture that won’t even have anything on it and wasn’t that great to begin with either. This is why I want to make it worth it now, a posteriori: worth a blog post. Examining the SD card later on it turned out, that there was indeed a motif on that picture, and even the one I had hoped to catch: Two male Anolis etheridgei sleeping together on a leaf (more like waking up on a leaf due to my intrusion), facing away from each other. What made this observation picture-worthy for me is that these weren’t the only specimens I found like that that night. At least five other pairs of male A. etheridgei were sleeping in the same position, touching each other’s tails. When I approached them, the one that would wake up first would make a jerking movement, then both would simultaneously drop from their sleeping site into the leaf litter. They were way harder to catch than many other sleeping anoles I’ve stalked at night. Four eyes are better than two, as the saying goes, and those little anoles seemed to have realized just that.

Cuddling for safety

Rest in peace, my trusty Pentax Optio WP.

About cybokat

Kat is a Lecturer in Ecology & the Environment at the University of Hull. She is vagabonding through real and virtual landscapes in search of answers to diverse scientific questions
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3 Responses to Do you want to cuddle? It makes me feel safe.

  1. Pingback: More Cuddling Anoles |

  2. Pingback: All About Sleeping Anoles |

  3. Pingback: Dominican anoles that bask together, stick together |

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