We’ve all seen it before. A lizard is chilling on a rock, minding its own business, when all of a sudden it starts doing push ups. But why? What’s the point? It turns out that there are a few reasons why lizards do push ups, and some of them might surprise you. So let’s take a closer look at this intriguing behavior.
Reason #1: To Impress mates
One of the most common reasons that lizards do push ups is to impress potential mates. If a male lizard sees a female that he likes, he’ll try to show off his strength and athleticism by doing as many push ups as he can. The better he looks, the more likely she is to be interested in him.
Reason #2: To scare off predators
Another reason that lizards do push ups is to intimidate predators. By flexing their muscles and showing off their strength, they’re sending the message that they’re not an easy target and that it would be better for the predator to look elsewhere for its next meal.
Reason #3: To regulate body temperature
Lizards are ectotherms, which means that they rely on external sources of heat to warm their bodies. One way that they can do this is by basking in the sun, but another way is by doing push ups. As they do their push ups, they rub their bellies against the ground, which helps to warm them up.
Reason #4: Territorial Behavior
One of the most common reasons lizards do push-ups is to assert their dominance over other lizards in their territory. By puffing up their chests and doing a series of push-ups, they’re sending a clear message that they’re the alpha in the area.
This behavior is most commonly seen in male lizards during the mating season, when they’re trying to impress females.
Reason #5: Calcium absorption
Finally, some scientists believe that another purpose of push-ups for lizards is calcium absorption. Calcium is essential for strong bones and muscles, and lizards need to absorb as much of it as possible from their food and from the sun.
By elevating their bodies during a push-up and exposing themselves to direct sunlight, lizards may be able to absorb more calcium than they would otherwise.
So those are just a few of the reasons why lizards do push ups! Next time you see one doing its daily workout, you’ll know exactly what’s going on.