Wild Fact #196 – The Poor Man’s Chameleon – Anoles

Photo from Wikimedia

For some strange reason I was in the mood for a trip to the Rainforest today.  In fact, I think I might stay there all weekend.  Anyone with me?  No?? Really?!?  What if I told you that we were going to have a chance to study some Anoles?  All right, first I will explain what Anoles are and then you can decide if you would like to join me on my tropical, weekend getaway.  I still can’t believe I am having this much difficulty convincing you to go on a trip.  For the record, these conversations I have with myself really do entertain me.

So what in the world are Anoles?  Well, I am sure you can tell by the picture that they are a type of lizard.  The Anole Lizard is actually closely related to Iguanas, however, people often confuse them as a Chameleon or a Gecko.  We will make sure not to make this mistake on our trip.  So how could people think that this lizard is actually a Chameleon?  Great question and it is funny since I was thinking the same thing.  It probably has to do with the fact that the Anoles have something in common with a Chameleon. Go ahead and take a guess.  You are absolutely correct!  The Anole Lizard is capable of altering their skin colour.  It appears that the mood and surroundings of the Anole Lizard will dictate their colour.  For example, in North America, Green Anoles, which are very common among pet owners will turn from their usual green colour into a nice brown colour when they become stressed.  This is a sign that the owner should probably do something to relieve the stress of their little friend.

Photo by Paul Hirst (Wikimedia)

There are about 372 known species of Anoles found throughout southeastern United States and the Caribbean.  Interestingly enough when the Green Anole and the Brown Anole overlap they display an unique behaviour.  In these areas the Green Anoles will stick to the higher branches of the trees while the Brown Anole hangs out on the lower branches.  Don’t get me wrong, I am sure the odd rebel crosses the border but for the most part they stick to their own territories.

Anoles Fast Fact – If you don’t like bugs around your house then you may consider getting a couple of Anoles.  They are actually very effective at pest control consuming cockroaches, spiders and other insects.  Typically they will also run away from humans.  Oh and one last thing before we go.  Apparently a Green Anole will turn yellow after it feeds.  Can any Green Anole pet owners confirm this?  I think it would be pretty cool to have your own Hypercolor lizard.

So have you made your decision yet?  I thought you might change your mind so grab your bags and lets catch our flight.  It is going to be a great weekend in the Rainforest.

3 Responses

  1. tony 7 years ago
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  3. Leslie 5 years ago

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