Mighty morphing tree lizards

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Territory: an area defended and owned by an individual.

Michael Moore and researchers at the laboratory study two male tree lizard morphs: the aggressive orange-blue morph, and the more mild-mannered orange morph.

Orange-blue males use lots of energy defending their territories. The territories are valuable because they supply bugs to eat, rocks in the sun, hiding places, and female lizards. Males need all of these things to survive and reproduce. An orange-blue male guards his territory from the top of a tall rock, looking around for other lizards. If he sees an orange male, he runs over and threatens to start a fight. He flashes his bright dewlap and blue belly, and does pushups. If the trespassing orange male does not leave, the territorial male may bite him!

tree lizard morphs

Orange males usually don't have territories. Instead, they hang around at the edges of other males' territories. When no one is looking, an orange male may take a chance and sneak onto the property. He hopes that no orange-blue lizards will catch him. He secretly suns himself on a rock, and eats a few ants that are crawling nearby. But if an aggressive orange-blue lizard finds him, the orange male has to be ready to run away fast, or put up a fight! Most of the time, the orange male just runs for it.

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Which Tree Lizard Morph Would You Like to Be?
  • Author(s): Danika Painter
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: September 16, 2009
  • Date accessed: June 12, 2024
  • Link: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/pick-a-lizard

APA Style

Danika Painter. (2009, September 16). Which Tree Lizard Morph Would You Like to Be?. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved June 12, 2024 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/pick-a-lizard

American Psychological Association. For more info, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/

Chicago Manual of Style

Danika Painter. "Which Tree Lizard Morph Would You Like to Be?". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 16 September, 2009. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/pick-a-lizard

MLA 2017 Style

Danika Painter. "Which Tree Lizard Morph Would You Like to Be?". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 16 Sep 2009. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 12 Jun 2024. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/pick-a-lizard

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/
Lizard morph cartoon

Fight or flight is the question for these lizards.

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