Mighty morphing tree lizards

show/hide words to know

Molecule: a chemical structure that has two or more atoms held together by a chemical bond. Water is a molecule of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (H2O)... more

All animals have hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through your blood. They turn some of your body's functions on or off. For example, some hormones tell your heart to beat faster when you get scared. Another hormone makes you store fat after you eat a piece of cake. Hundreds of hormones are in your body, carrying many different messages.

Hormone messangers

Hormones often use veins and arteries as highways to travel through your body.

Testosterone is one of the hormones that make men look different from women. This is because men have much more testosterone than women do. Men's high testosterone makes them grow beards and develop deeper voices. Testosterone also makes male lizards look different from female lizards, and orange-blue males different from orange males. In tree lizards, this hormone can make a male develop an aggressive personality, and a blue spot on his dewlap.

Progesterone is a hormone that is very important during pregnancy. Pregnant moms have lots of progesterone, which helps their bodies do a good job of supporting the developing baby. Male tree lizards don't get pregnant, but they have progesterone, too. In tree lizards, progesterone's effects are like testosterone's -- it causes males to develop into the aggressive orange-blue morph.

Progesterone and testosterone molecules

They look very similar, but progesterone, on the left, has a different role in our body than testosterone, on the right. The ball-and-stick molecules show oxygen in red, carbon in grey, and hydrogen in white.

View Citation

You may need to edit author's name to meet the style formats, which are in most cases "Last name, First name."

Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Testosterone & Progesterone
  • Author(s): Danika Painter
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: December 18, 2009
  • Date accessed: June 12, 2024
  • Link: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/testosterone-progesterone

APA Style

Danika Painter. (2009, December 18). Testosterone & Progesterone. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved June 12, 2024 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/testosterone-progesterone

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

Chicago Manual of Style

Danika Painter. "Testosterone & Progesterone". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 18 December, 2009. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/testosterone-progesterone

MLA 2017 Style

Danika Painter. "Testosterone & Progesterone". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 18 Dec 2009. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 12 Jun 2024. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/testosterone-progesterone

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/
Testosterone animated molecule

Rotating view of a testosterone molecule.

Be Part of
Ask A Biologist

By volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteers page to get the process started.

Donate icon  Contribute

Share this page:


Share to Google Classroom