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Emergence Behavior and Movements of Winter-Aggregated Green Anoles (Anolis carolinensis) and the Thermal Characteristics of Their Crevices in Tennessee

David C. Bishop and Arthur C. Echternacht
Herpetologica
Vol. 60, No. 2 (Jun., 2004), pp. 168-177
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Herpetologists' League
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3893541
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Emergence Behavior and Movements of Winter-Aggregated Green Anoles (Anolis carolinensis) and the Thermal Characteristics of Their Crevices in Tennessee
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Abstract

The green anole (Anolis carolinensis, Sauria: Polychrotidae) is the only native member of the neotropical genus in the United States and can be found as far north as North Carolina and Tennessee. Green anoles remain active throughout the winter in Tennessee, a rare behavior for reptiles at this latitude (35° 34′ N). In the Little Tennessee River population observed, individuals shift habitats in winter to a south-facing bluff where they aggregate in rock crevices at night and on cloudy days. The crevices provide thermal protection from air temperatures that routinely drop below freezing. Aggregations did not seem to provide any thermal benefits to lizards. Lizards emerged from the crevices when the sun illuminated their section of the bluff. The emergence order of lizards from a crevice was nonrandom; some lizards consistently emerged earlier than others. Position in the emergence sequence was determined by the depth of the lizard within the crevice, with shallow lizards emerging first. Lizards remained close to the same group of crevices throughout the entire winter and often returned to the same section of the bluff the following winter season.

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