Thermal dependence of signalling

PosturesA new study about wall lizards authored by Guillem Pérez i de Lanuza, Miguel Angel Carretero, and Enrique Font just came out in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Wall lizards are ventrally polychromatic and the authors hypothesized that the differences in chromatic conspicuousness (orange > yellow > white) could be compensated behaviorally if individuals of the most conspicuous morphs adopted postures that made their color patches less visible. To test this hypothesis, they determined 4 postures typically observed in lizards (as shown in the picture). They did not detect any differences among the morphs BUT they found a strong correlation between body temperature and lizard posture. In other words, wall lizards adopt elevated postures only when they attain a body temperature high enough for an efficient escape response.

They also discuss the potential compensation for the differences in conspicuousness that could occur… or not. Very interesting!

Read the full article here!

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