Lining the lizard’s mouth is tissue of the most brilliant vermilion

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Dragons and half-ton monsters of Queensland’s past should not sway us into believing that the vast lizard species-empire was built by brute force alone. (animatronic dinosaur)Lizard adaptations include devices of greater subtlety—body ornaments designed for fraud, intimidation, display, and seduction. The Australian frilled lizard, one and a half feet long at most, is of a typical lacertilian temperament, slow to bite in earnest even when engaged in vigorous disputes over territory or potential mates.(walking dinosaur costume) There’s evolutionary wisdom in such restraint. Quarrelsome genes that give their owners a chip on the shoulder will get weeded out of the population, if constant brawling leaves the lizard scarred, crippled, and too exhausted to breed. Darwinian processes have operated on the frilled lizard to concentrate genes whose results are more theatrical than rowdy. Lining the lizard’s mouth is tissue of the most brilliant vermilion. Hanging limp around the neck is a wide collar of folded skin. (realistic dinosaur costume)When the lizard must assert its presence, a direct biting attack is eschewed in favor of a grand thespian display: the mouth pops wide open, unveiling a sudden flash of red on palate and tongue, and the collar snaps erect, spreading a scaly corona about the neck like the frill around the Dutch Masters, increasing the apparent head size sixfold. Hissing and lunging forward, the frilled lizard goes through its act, a gaudy vaudevillian bit of behavior which transforms the little inoffensive lizard into an animated trick-or-treat mask. Body ornament for intimidation produces some of the most decorative vertebral columns in lizardom. In most vertebrates the vertebral spines are strictly utilitarian and nonornamental. The bony prongs rise up from each vertebral segment to provide leverage for the back and neck muscles (the series of bumps down your back, between the shoulders, are the tops of vertebral spines). But the Australian water lizard grows spines so long they project far beyond the muscle contours and extend upward like a picket fence embedded in a thin sheet of tough skin. This lizard’s intimidation technique, like that of most species, is broadside bluff. Turning sideways to its foe, the water lizard puffs itself up, standing as tall as possible, showing off its vertebral sail to best advantage, trying to prove that it is bigger and nastier than its rival. If your rival looks taller, then he might be bigger and stronger.

 

This simple message is encoded in most lacertilian brains and plays out automatically during disputes, controlling the lizard’s fight-or-flight response. South American riverside forests are home for one of the best broadside bluffers, the Jesus lizard. (animatronic dinosaur for sale)Here the males sport among the most flamboyant vertebral crests known anywhere today. Sheets of bone protrude from the head and the picket fence rises from the torso to make the skinny lizard body look three times as big as it really is. The name “Jesus lizard” doesn’t come from the puffand- bluff display, but from the speedy getaway performed by the lizard when its tiny brain snaps over to the flight mode. Very long in the hind legs, the Jesus lizard can sprint so fast for a few dozen yards that its momentum carries it across the surface of lake or river, the long-toed strides propelling it far beyond the shore. After its walk-on-water dash the lizard can sink out of sight, a bewildering performance for most enemies.