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Effects of structural habitat on the escape behavior of the lizard, Anolis gingivinus

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Knowledge of escape behavior contributes to an understanding of a species' natural history and provides insights into the physical capabilities of that animal in a natural setting. Using an "approach stick" to standardize the "threat" to which an animal responded, we examined reactions of the Anguillian anole, Anolis gingivinus. As in other anoles, A. gingivinus allowed relatively close approaches, followed by the behaviors of squirreling, running, jumping, or combinations thereof. The most important factors determining which action was taken were the diameter of the lizard's perch and the direction the lizard was facing. Amount of sun exposure also had an effect on behavior, whereas sex of individuals did not. Some visual aspect of the putative predator also had an effect, determining in part the distance at which the animal fled.


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