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A multivariate clustering approach to display repertoire analysis: headbobbing in Anolis equestris

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Display repertoire analysis requires and unbiased estimate of the number of different displays. Anolis lizards, with easily quantifiable visual displays, provide a system amenable to determining display repertoire size. We used multivariate clustering techniques to classify Anolis equastris headbobbing displays. Forty displays, to conspecifics and mirrors, were graphed and 23 variables from each were used in a cluster analysis. Displays were classified into four distinct groups and a single odd display. The most important variables for classifying displays, assessed with a stepwide discriminant analysis, were associated with the general cadence, number of headbobs, and location of large and small headbobs. Most headbobbing displays ended in lateral head movements, possibly arising from ritualized mouth-wiping. All displays analyzed were apparently aggressive ("threat") displays, suggesting a rich display repertoire for this species but leaving unexplained the reasons so many display types are used. Social and defensive displays, while sharing a number of motor patterns, are readily distinguished by the long duration of dewlap extension and gaping in defensive behavior.

Affiliations: 1: Life Sciences Graduate Program in Ethology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37994-0810, U.S.A; 2: Department of Zoology and Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics Program, University of Tennessee, Knox-ville, TN 37996-0810, U.S.A.


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