There’s a Carolina Anole that’s been hanging around our place recently. He shows up daily now and suns on the railing outside our kitchen window. He’s a beautiful male with a dorsal fin, a reptilian’s reptile, a miniature dinosaur in stature but not in heart. He’s confident, you can tell. He is not worried about predators. He’s king and he knows it.
His color changes from bright greens to dark browns and the lids of his eyes show shades blues and greens. Do females clamor after him?
This lizard often leaps from the railing to the side of the house. I caught him doing just that the other day, after he displayed his spectacular red throat. Here is the sequence:
It was a short leap, and powerful. But add a few feathers, even proto-feathers, and the leaping lizard might be capable of some amazing, gliding leaps. Is this how birds evolved? I’m way out of my league and there are scientists who still debate the issue, but I think I’m right in saying that most scientists now accept the idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs or perhaps some earlier common ancestor. The debate that seems to rage in some circles is whether flight evolved from the ground up or from the tree down. Well, my 2 cents, for what it’s worth (very little since this is not based on science) is that nature always takes the path of least resistance. Ground up flight is working against gravity and that doesn’t work for me. Tree-dwelling reptiles that evolved into leapers would certainly benefit from any body protrusions that offered air/wind resistance. I can see this and it makes sense to me, but I’m just an average joe.
What I like to think is that the birds we see today are the last living dinosaurs on earth, remnants of a by-gone era. Land based dinos died out, but the ones who are made of air are still around. They evolved hollow bones that weigh less than the feathers they wear, and their success is evident all over the globe.