LIZARDS OF ABACO: ANOLES (AND DEWLAPS)
Everyone knows about CURLY TAIL LIZARDS. Everyone loves them and their little ways. The other lizards that may be found on Abaco – the anoles, green and brown – are easier to take for granted. Unless, maybe, you see one displaying its DEWLAP. These are essentially folds of neck skin that are seen in many creatures – even large ones like the moose – and which in some species are inflatable / retractable.
Abaconian Rhonda Pearce has taken some excellent photos of anoles recently. By oversight I have never given anoles a day in the sun in this blog before, and it’s high time I did (see above re overlooking anoles in favour of curly tails…). First, here are some impressive dewlaps to admire.
And here are a few green and brown anoles hanging out on trees and leaves in an anole-type way. In a couple of these images, you can see the dewlap in its non-display mode. They are all just… lizards. Non-scary, non-venomous, non-poisonous little guys that are probably a peripheral part of everyone’s experience, but which really deserve a closer look.
You can read more about anoles, including their sex lives, on the excellent Abaco Scientist’s site HERE
OPTIONAL MUSICAL DIGRESSION
The first time I heard the word ‘dewlap’ (misheard by the young me as ‘dewlat’) was in the mid-60s, in Georgie Fame’s excellent Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde. This song – and doubtless the film – was number 1 in the UK and maybe also the States. Famous too for such fine songs as ‘Yeh Yeh!’ and ‘Sitting in the Park’, Fame’s ‘Ballad’ is probably his best-loved song.
I assumed then that a ‘dewlat’ was some sort of valuable gold coin – like a gold sovereign – that bank robbers put into a specially designed ‘dewlat bag’ to carry them away… Ah! The naivety of youth.
Bonnie and Clyde advanced their reputation
And made the graduation into the banking business
“Reach for the sky,” sweet-talking Clyde would holler
As Bonnie loaded dollars in the dewlap bag
Credits: all photos, Rhonda Pearce with thanks as ever; icecreammakesuhappy, youtube