Thursday, February 13, 2014

Creature Feature #118: Collared Lizard

There are several species of Collared Lizard spread across the deserts of North America and down through Mexico. The name is derived from their distinctive black and white "collar". This fellow is the "Dickerson's" species. Fast and agile, when running, he will often stand upright. His bright blue colouration makes him rather obvious from a distance, and thus more prone to predation. His bright colours might be an indication of his strength ("I'm so blue and obvious to predators, yet I am still alive, therefore I am strong and thus have good mate potential") and if other males come near he will arch his back, puff out his sides and bob up and down, doing "push-ups". It the intruder fails to be intimidated, he may then chase him off.  Females, on the other hand, are a duller colour. Lizards use colour to communicate, with the female gaining orange blotches when she is receptive to mating.

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