Sunday, June 5, 2011


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.

Also, Dave has a new field assistant, look carefully and you should see the assistant standing next to Dave and ready to run down any misbehaving anole.

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