Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Young male lizards use 'transvestite trickery'

MELBOURNE (AFP) – Young male lizards in South Africa imitate females to fool aggressive older males into leaving them alone, in an example of transvestism in the natural world, researchers have found.

The lizards not only avoid fights but gain access to females under the nose of their more macho rivals, the South African and Australian researchers discovered.

They found that young male Augrabies flat lizards (pictured) delayed displaying the extravagant coloration of sexually-mature males until they were able to defend themselves adequately.

*thanks to O.K. for the link
**photo - AFP/HO/File/Martin Whiting

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