Why Do Lizards do Push Ups

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Why Do Lizards do Push Ups

Like a man in a gym, lizards train out to show off their muscularity. Also, just like with some males, a lizard doing push-ups is a signal to “get out of my territory.” A recent study further shows that these displays are part of a daily pattern for some lizard species.

Every morning, four different kinds of male Jamaican lizards called anoles welcome the sun with a series of muscular push-ups, head bobs.

And the menacing extension of a colourful flap of skin on the neck. At nightfall, they perform the rite again. Other animals, including as birds, reptiles, and primates, are also known to make noises at sunrise and sunset to mark the passage of time.

Why Do Lizards do Push Ups

Postdoctoral researcher at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University and the University of California, Davis, Terry J. Ord, claims this is the first known ritualistic visual demonstration of territorialism.

The results of the study will be published in the next edition of American Naturalist.

Why Lizards Perform Push-Ups

Numerous lizard species exhibit this “push-up” bobbing behaviour for three primary reasons. To name a few of them:

For the purpose of establishing dominance over another lizard and/or gauging its size and strength, a lizard may perform a dominance display (usually between males)

To attract another lizard for the purpose of mating (usually done by males towards females)

To attract the attention of another lizard (or, in the case of captive lizards, their owner; either sexes may engage in this behaviour)

It turns out that the lizard “push-up” display is highly subtle and situational. This behaviour has been observed in a wide variety of lizard species, both in captivity and in the wild.

However, the lizard’s current predicament can have a major role in the lizard’s decision. The gesture can convey a variety of messages, from “back off” to “hey, look at me!”

Of all, lizards use a lot more than just push-ups to express themselves. Most animal species don’t make a lot of noise.

But they have a wide variety of hand signals and body postures to use when trying to convey meaning.

These apparently speechless reptiles are actually highly communicative, but not in a way that we humans can easily comprehend or recognise.

This includes arm-waving, head-bobbling, a full-body push-up, and stretching one’s brilliantly coloured dewlap.

Displaying Dominance to Other Lizards or Predators

In order to appear bigger and more menacing, lizards (usually males) would perform push-ups in close proximity to one another.

The lizards can gauge each other’s size and strength by observing this behaviour.

For most animal species, this type of push-up competition is used when searching for a mate or a food source, or when protecting young from harm.

Push-ups performed by lizards are typically performed by two males who are battling for mates, food, or territory.

This is done before a conflict to see if it’s really necessary and to give one of the lizards a chance to back down. Consider it a manner that they try to appear more imposing to one another.

Lizards execute push-ups not only to look intimidating, but also to compare their physiques to those of their peers. One of the lizards can try to get away if it is noticeably weaker than the other.

In addition, lizards don’t merely engage in push-ups as a means of discouraging potential rivals. They may also do this to scare off potential predators, such as snakes, hawks, or even people.

A lizard can temporarily distract an attacker by making itself look much bigger and more frightening. The reptile, meanwhile, will make a hasty escape. Also, it’s not only the guys that are doing push-ups; female lizards have been observed doing them, too!

Conclusion

In order to reassure potential mates that they are in good health, male lizards will perform a series of push-ups as part of their mating display.

However, this behaviour is shared by both sexes of lizards in order to stake territorial claims, cool down, and shed excess skin. A lizard’s mating ritual includes the performance of push-ups.

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