Monday, November 29, 2010

Lizard Brain

Until recently, a colleague's office was home to a lizard, more properly known as an anole.

(photo credit)

Anoles can change color to match their surroundings. It makes them darn difficult to spot on the side of a bookshelf, next to a cardboard box, or on a speckled carpet. This guy was relatively small, about 4" long.

We'd seen him a few times, but he was always too fast for us. Once when I met him in the middle of the hallway, I grabbed a piece of posterboard and tried to herd him toward the exterior door. But he scurried back into my colleague's office and disappeared into the books.

Apparently he thought he lived in there. But I was worried: what could he possibly find to eat or drink in an office?

(photo credit)

Perhaps that's why I saw him in the hallway again a few days later. This time I was quite deft with the posterboard, and he was perhaps feeling a little less frisky, so I managed to guide him a few feet down the hall and out the door. He sat on the stairs in the sunshine for the first time in who knows how long.

When I went outside again a few minutes later, he was still there. For some reason it occurred to me that he might be thirsty. We hadn't had any rain to speak of recently, and even if he could drink dew, the next dewpoint was a long way away in lizard-time.

photo credit)

I went back inside, got a big cup of water, and poured it onto the wooden step next to him. And then I couldn't believe my eyes. He actually put his snout down into the puddle, and I could see the sides of his throat moving as he swallowed. I watched him drink many swallows.

Then he cocked his head at me and said thank you.

(photo credit)

They say each of us has a lizard brain buried deep within the more civilized parts of our grey matter. All I can say about that is: mine seems to be working.


  1. Aw, that's nice. My sisters loved catching lizards when we were kids (and then releasing them! they didn't do anything but freak them out a bit, I guess). Except this one time my older sister told my little sister she couldn't play with the lizard unless she kissed it, so my little sister kissed it and it bit her on the face. Ouch.

  2. That is so adorable, they are such lovely creatures. We rescued a tree frog that had come to ground on the boat on land, and was drying out, poor thing. We poured water on him, after the first cup her sort of blinked, and after the second stretched and started to move. Then we put him in a tree. Don't think they like salt water which is where we were heading,

    Go lizard brains! Though we seem to have amphibian ones, whatever

  3. That is a very neat story. I'm not a lizard fan, but he is darn cute.


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