Body Bobbing Brown Anole

From today’s edition of Chipojolab. Go there to see the video:

“The head-bob displays of anoles have been studied for decades. In the early 1970’s, Tom Jenssen’s pioneering work began to unravel the intricacies of these motion signals. This work was followed by research conducted by Leo Fleishman (A.K.A. “Jefesisimo”), who elegantly demonstrated that head-bobs are designed to be conspicuous against background vegetation movement. Dave’s research is building upon the work of Tom and Leo by evaluating the plasticity of head-bobs, along with possible mechanisms that anoles might employ to increase the likelihood of being detected by conspecifics. Today’s video illustrates one such mechanism: note (in slow motion) how the anole is pushing so vigorously with his forelimbs that both limbs leave the perch! This behavior results in extremely high amplitude displays, which should be easily detected by conspecifics.”

About Jonathan Losos

Author and Professor at Harvard University
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