Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don't Point That Dewlap at Her!

It's all fun and games until the lizard hits on your wife.

Explanation: Also included in last week's fabulous Floridian vacation was a trip to the American Orchid Society Visitor's Center and Botanical Gardens in sunny Delray Beach. Well, it was sunny until it rained, but we were inside at that point, so I can't complain.

A feature of the gardens that I did not expect was the plethora of lizards scampering to and fro. In particular, I found the anoles quite interesting because of the little red flap of skin (called a "dewlap") under their neck which they can extend. At the time, my wife and I speculated (correctly, as it turns out) that the red thingie was either related to territorial or courtship behavior. As I went to snap a picture of this brown anole, he flashed his dewlap:

Since I was standing closer to him than my wife was and her movement caused him to extend his dewlap, my only reasonable conclusion was that he was hitting on her. Subsequently, I puffed out my chest, bashed him with my telephoto lens, and went on my merry way. Stay away from my wife, jerkwad.*

*OK, so maybe we just joked about it and continued our walk through the garden. I repeat, this animal was not actually harmed. (I cannot say the same for that gecko that one time in Mallorca, though.)


Willie Y said...

One possibility that you did not explore, was that this particular brown anole was leading a alternative life style.

Heather said...

Dewlaps are mostly for posturing. As in, "Hey get away from my twig you gigantic sweaty mammals. I'm HUGE I tell you! And don't swat that fly! It's lunch!"

Dewlap usage explains other odd behaviors in human males ages 10-21, such as wearing sweatpants under jeans seven sizes too large. Thus sending the message, "Hey! Get away from my locker you gigantic sweaty mammal! I'm HUG I tell you, and if I could use both hands (One is holding up all the pants, sagged well belong my tushie) I'd wave them about frantically to look even larger. Damn, wish I had a freakin' dewlap.
Hope your trip was good.
The gecko karma thing may be scary..