Jambo, boys ‘n’ girls! Mr. Nature here, with the humble fence lizard. My home state of New Jersey is but poorly endowed with lizards, but we do have the Eastern Fence Lizard, one of my favorites. The lizard in this video is a Western Fence Lizard from California, almost the same thing.
The “push-ups” that these lizards do, mostly the males, is a territorial display. It means “get lost!” Most of the lizards in the iguanid family–dozens and dozens of species–make this display, as well as puffing themselves up, showing the dewlap, etc. There are even some Old World agamid family lizards that do push-ups. This is a mystery to me, that totally unrelated lizards should resort to the same threat display.
I once had fence lizards and one of the females laid eggs. We caught her doing it, and so were able to contact the Staten Island Zoo for instructions as to how to care for the eggs. They were good instructions, and all two dozen eggs hatched into absolutely perfect little lizards.
At night the little ones used to bury themselves in cedar shavings with only their heads left showing. One morning our granddaughter came into the living room and saw them like that–only the tiny heads scattered here and there–and totally freaked out. She was sure some fiend had come in the middle of the might and beheaded the baby lizards. But Mrs. Nature was quickly able to reassure her otherwise.
Fence lizards eat live bugs and can be kept together in an aquarium without your having to worry about them assassinating one another. They tame rather quickly and are altogether nice lizards.