Mr. Nature: Head-Bobbing Lizards

Jambo. You are about to see a little “pet store chameleon” (a green anole, actually: not a real chameleon) decide he’s in the mood for love. He’ll try to attract the female by showing his dewlap and doing a lot of head-bobbing.

These same gestures are also used to threaten rivals.

Head-bobbing intrigues me because so many unrelated lizards, thousands of miles apart geographically, do it–and for the same reasons: courtship, threat, defense of territory. This is an aspect of lizard life that has no way of being preserved in any fossil record. Which in turn is a reminder that we don’t know an awful lot about animals–especially prehistoric ones.

None of my lizards ever head-bobbed at me. I must be a nice guy.

Oddly enough, real chameleons don’t head-bob.

I know some of you have bearded dragons. Do they eventually give up head-bobbing–or do they always find some occasion for it?

Time to Rumble!

Best Lizard Head Bobbing GIFs | Gfycat

I am bobbing my head, I am girding my loins, to write a 2,000-word article in one sitting.

Difficulty, I wag my head at thee! It can’t possibly be as hard as it was to do a complete and utter rewrite of my horror novel, Schoolhouse, in just two weeks. Actually, very few things are as hard as that.

So I’ll put my head down and come up for air when the job is done.

But first, a cigar.