Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lounge Lizards: Why Some Reptiles Love A Party


So now I know why this giant iguana came to visit our room when we were on holiday in Brazil. He was a lounge lizard - on the look out for a party.
Scientists have just discovered that reptiles have personalities, with “asocial” ones preferring their own company and others - like our friend the green iguana - enjoying a bit of a social life.

In a long-running experiment,
Julien Cote of the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France collected together a group of wild pregnant lizards. When their offspring were born he tested their reaction to the scent of other lizards. He then watched them interact with other lizards as they grew up.
The lizards that showed an aversion to the scent of lizards tended to shun the company of other reptiles when they grew up. He called these “asocial”. The ones that had been attracted to the scent actively sought out places where there was a high population of lizards.
Scientists are excited about the results. They seem to indicate that animals have distinct personalities, which mould the way they interact in the world.

1 comment:

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