Saturday, March 26, 2016

Turf War In Slow Motion

What we in Southeast Texas refer to as a Chameleon really isn't a Chameleon at all, it is a Green Anole - Anolis Carolensis.  They are called Chameleons because they change color to match their environment.
The males have that pink flap under their throat called a dewlap, and they extend it as a territorial display and often, I suspect, just because it feels good.  I have been seeing them do this all my life, but yesterday evening I learned that this isn't the only the only part of their body they can modify.
Two males got into a territorial dispute on our side wall, and they displayed a ridge from the top of their heads down their back.  It completely changed their appearance, making them look like escapees from Jurassic Park.
There really wasn't much of a fight.  The only time they actually touched, it was open mouth to open mouth, and neither tried to bite the other.  The whole thing was done in slow motion and lasted about five minutes.

Once one of them decided that he had lost, he retreated very carefully.  It took him almost half an hour to leave the field of battle.

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