Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Silence of the Lizards

Lizards don't "dance" like honeybees can, or sing like birds, or write like humans, but they can do push-ups. I used to think that ONLY the male lizards do these push-ups, but both males and females do. The sub-order Inguania (which are part of the order Squamata) contains iguanas, chameleons, agamids, and "New World lizards" such as anoles and Phrynosomatidae. They don't "speak" or "sing", but raising and lowering on all 4s can be seen from many feet away, even by other tiny lizards. Messages can be:
- Hey Baby, You're Lookin' Good!
- This is my rock, you can't have it!
- I'm available, take me you beast!
- You gotta problem with that??
(paraphrased, but long the lines of the observations made by scientists that watched 1000s of lizards in the SW US, link here).

I enjoy watching these little reptiles run along the border walls at home, and across paths at the Desert Botanical Garden or on hiking trails. I'm not fast enough to catch them, except on camera.

Of course in this video, with my paranoid neighbor's home directly behind me in the background, they probably think I was trying to photograph them! But that's fine, they can think I am the old crazy white guy next door, that doesn't bother me. I had no idea that my neighbor behind my house thought I was watching them, until another neighbor diagonally from us said to me a month ago "yeah, they don't like how you're always looking at them over the fence" - huh??? I had (and still have) no idea who really lives in the house behind me, and I really don't care. I'm looking at the birds, insects, reptiles, and plants... not the paranoid /self-conscious neighbors.

Not everyone can enjoy or appreciate the Silence of the Lizards.


  1. Awesome!

    But do they ever do bulgarian split squats?

  2. I think the "side aligned" shoulder and hip anatomy makes squats more difficult for these belly scurrying creatures. And then, their "blue patch" might show... and that might be "R" (for Reptile - bah-dum-pish!) rated!


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