A while back, we had a post that featured a photo of a male brown anole sticking its leg off the ground and out to the side in an odd manner. Readers speculated that this was to get the body and leg off the hot surface of the ground. AA contributor Miguel Landestoy has sent in a photo of A. cybotes doing more-or-less the same thing, although less awkwardly, and Miguel, too, speculates that this is for thermoregulatory purposes: “the guy may be avoiding the heat on the very reflective surface on the banana/plantain leaf (see that also fingers are also lifted).” This is, of course, reminiscent of the famous dancing behavior of the African lacertid lizard Aporasaura anchietae, which lives in the Kalahari desert and stands on two legs, rhythmically alternating which feet are in contact with the hot sand (check out the remarkable BBC video).
Maybe so, but I’m not convinced. I’ve seen behavior like this many times, and it didn’t necessarily seem to occur in ultra-hot conditions, though maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention. Thoughts, anyone?