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Carolina Anole

Carolina Anole
Photo Information
Copyright: Rob Poole (summerjazz) (77)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-10
Categories: Reptiles
Exposure: f/4.9
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Reptiles - Anoles 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-05-15 13:32
Viewed: 4720
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This guy was crawling along my privacy fence the other day. I wasn't sure what kind of a lizard he was soI did a little research on him and this is what I found: The lizard is call a Carolina Anole. Some anoles are incorrectly called "chameleons" because they change colors, but unlike a true African chameleon that can match its background, Carolina Anoles (Anolis carolinensis) come only in two primary shades. One minute an anole will be bright green, and the next it has taken on a drab gray-brown appearance.

These colors appear to be dictated by two factors: ambient temperatures or sexual behavior. When an anole is basking in the sun and warms up, it takes on a bright green hue, but on cool days the scaly skin is brown--even on sunny days. The skin also turns green when an anole is sexually aroused.

The male Carolina Anole has one other color in his repertoire: a bright, cherry red that is exposed when he extends a thin finger of cartilage running from his chin to the bottom of his neck. The cartilage expands the skin to form a "dewlap" that normally appears white but, when stretched, reveals its red underlayer. The male uses this dewlap to announce his territory to other males and, at the same time, to attract the eye of a female that hasn't yet chosen a father for her offspring. Since one anole may defend only a few square yards, it's not unusual to see several males patrolling a large pile of stones or logs, frantically doing push-ups to show off their dewlaps to best advantage. If a male is really agitated, he may open his mouth wide in a menacing display, and then--if a neighbor doesn't retreat--attack and clamp down on a rival with his toothy jaws.

Like all lizards, Carolina Anoles have dry and scaly skin, eyelids, claws, and a external ear opening behind the eye. (This differentiates them from salamanders, which have smooth, moist skin and no external ear or claws.)

lemur, coasties, septama, Mazer has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lemur Silver Note Writer [C: 4 W: 0 N: 52] (191)
  • [2006-05-15 22:03]

wonderful note and great capture. Love how you caught him with his dewlap out. Your description of this lizard is great, should definitely help those new to them.

Hi Rob

A lovely clear shot. Nice POV. Very good depth of colour. Light is excellent. Nice work. :-)

Quiet unique specimen, I've seen lizard like this before, in Orlando, FL, but in light brown-yellow color and far more thinner than this one. This is should be a dominant adult male one, I really likes your capture, nice contrast between green skin, it's red slayer and background sky. Nice research notes also, TFS

  • Great 
  • Mazer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 65 W: 3 N: 34] (104)
  • [2007-05-28 21:21]

Intresting image, thats well exposed and sharp.

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