Anole Lizard Features
Anole Lizard Extraordinary Features FAQs
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
The Lovable Little Garden Lizards
In many respects anoles are physiologically like mammals and birds. For instance, they have nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems. They have a brain, heart, kidneys, and other familiar organs, and breathe air with lungs. In addition, the digestive system of the anoles is fascinating. They wet their food with mouth saliva and then the major breakdown and nutrient extraction occurs in the lizard’s stomach, and from there waste is excreted.
Frequently Asked Questions About Green Brown Anole Lizard Features
Yes, they do. Anole skin does not grow and expand with the rest of the body. As the lizards grow bigger, the outer skin layer is shed (called molting.) The anole skin does not peel in one large, continuous piece; the skin peels and is pulled away from the body and then eaten—yes, they eat their own skin and sometimes the skin of others (the skin contains nutrients).
The green and brown anoles generally share the same living areas—trees, bushes and shrubs, height off the ground, and sleeping areas.
Yes, anoles are considered cold-blooded, but to clear something up, the term cold-blooded is somewhat outdated and not entirely accurate. The truth is, the body temperature of anoles is as hot or hotter than those of birds or mammals—frequently ranging between 97 and 103 °F (36 to 40 °C). Scientifically speaking, anoles are cold-blooded because they cannot generate enough internal heat by using their own natural metabolism to stay warm and they are poorly insulated—you rarely see a fat lizard. Finally, body temperature depends almost entirely on external sources, surroundings that include sunshine and shade.
If another male intrudes, anoles straighten their front legs (like doing pushups) and bob their heads up and down while simultaneously showing a big reddish orange flap from underneath the throat. This is displaying. They even do this when humans approach and they feel threatened. It is one way that they try to frighten off and warn an aggressor. They use their legs to lift themselves up and down several times to look larger and more intimidating.
Yes, they do. Scales also offer protection against contact with rough objects and act as a barrier against certain potentially harmful wavelengths of sunlight. This anole lizard feature is fascinating.
Green and Brown Anole Communication
The pushup routine and head movements are also a way to communicate with other anoles. Each anole species has a unique head-bob that enables other members of the same species to identify it. They communicate with their postures, and with their movements as they walk, strut, and bob. Every species has a wide array of identifying gestures, mannerisms, and movements. Pushups, head-bobbing, pumping, swagger, and changing direction as they move and dart around. It is great to watch these little showmen perform!
Today, in the southeastern United States, there are fewer green anoles than ever before. The loss of their Florida habitat and the pressure from invader species—humans of course, but also the brown Cuban anole—have reduced the populations. In conclusion, as humans and brown anoles move in, the greens move away.
One of the most advanced, and fascinating, features of these lizards is their ability to regenerate a body part, namely the tail. It is called autonomy (from the Greek autonomia) and means “independence from the organism as a whole in the capacity of a part for growth, reactivity, or responsiveness.”
As an enemy pursues and grabs, bites, or presses on the tail, the anole responds by shaking the tail loose and frantically scampering to freedom. Shortly, a new tail begins to grow back and in several more weeks it may be close to the original length. The replacement tail, while not as flexible as the old one, but still has some independent movement. In addition, a great mechanism to compensate for bad luck.
Anoles lizards have short, broad tongues. They cannot flick out their tongue to retrieve valuable information, but with their short tongues may lean down and lick an object briefly to investigate. They use their tongue to manipulate the prey inside the mouth and toward the throat. Their tongue isn’t sticky, but it’s moist with saliva, and so it is helpful in positioning the prey in the mouth. Finally, saliva also helps lubricate and soften the prey while prey crushed and swallowed.
Anole Lizard Features: Anole Throat Pouch
The dewlap is a loose skin at the throat that anoles can expand. It impresses or frightens—and it’s a pretty cool trick. In its relaxed position, the dewlap is loose skin that may extend all the way down to the chest. It folds neatly into a small packet under the chin, but when displayed, the loose skin is stretched out tight as a drum and as far forward as the tip of the jaw. The dewlap is not inflated by air but expanded with a lever action of muscle and bone. It is magnificent.
A colorful throat pouch, or dewlap, is used to recognize a particular anole species, to select a partner, as a stimulant for sexual relations, and to defend their territories. In addition to the colorful dewlap, green anoles are bright green in color when they are active, perky, healthy, and not under stress. This anole lizard features the natural green color that provides excellent camouflage in leafy environments.
Both male and female anoles have dewlaps, but those of the males are normally much larger and more colorful. Males also display far more frequently; some even call it male vanity, “wannabe peacocks.” The green anole species usually has a bright red or pink dewlap with whitish scales. Therefore the brown species tends to have a red or orange dewlap with a yellow border.
No, anoles generally do not change color to match the surroundings as camouflage, like chameleons do. However, when frightened they will quickly turn dark, or when the weather becomes cold, they will turn brownish. With the onset of darkness, they may turn slightly brown as well. If ill, the skin may turn darker and be accompanied by spots or blotches. The brown anoles sometimes display a back crest known as the dorsal crest.
Light and temperature stimulates the lizard’s mood and can lead to color change. Since darker pigments absorb heat better than light ones, lizards often become darker to attract heat when they are cold, and paler to repel heat when they are warm.
In the case of green anoles, temperatures of 50 °F (10 °C), and lower generally cause darkening of the skin. Social stress, a scare, cold, tiredness, angry, or even illness, can lead to darkening skin.
The “third eye” of the anole is the a parietal or pineal eye. It looks just like an eye, visible between the two eyes, but it cannot see or form a visual image. It is an apparatus that sets a biological clock; it records the duration and intensity of daylight during different times of the year by responding to light signals.
Generally, anoles have pretty good hearing. In addition, like many animals that live close to the ground, they are very adept at picking up very slight vibrations on the ground.
More Frequently Asked Questions
This 2023 calendar features 12 fine art photography images of the Lovable Little Garden Lizards. Printed on heavy card stock in rich color ink with a durable wire binding that allows the calendar to hang or lie flat. The 2023 calendar is here!