Releasing the Frillies

38501925192_4ffa179bad_k
Just some tree bark? …. spot the frilly!
37817869684_5df431d1d8_k.jpg
You can see why they are difficult to find during the day. Not only are they cryptic, but they position themselves behind the trunk so a predator will not be able to see them! Night fieldwork is more promising.
Godzilla (F13) going through behavioral trials

I’m testing whether frills are used as a deimatic signal, particularly color, and examining the behavioral sequence after introducing a model predator. All the frillies I’ve found have three large frill folds with bright red-orange coloration restricted to the region between the folds, so when the frill is folded the coloration is concealed. But there are many frill regions with different colors (especially the back of the frill which came as a surprise to me), so I’m developing an extensive data set with a spectrophotometer… a lot is going on in their frills! I’m also looking at differences in frill size and color between the sexes for the frill’s potential role in sexual selection – there have been some behavioral studies on male-male competition.

All photographs in this post taken after capture or during release [5]; frillies handled with appropriate permits for scientific study.

Releasing male frilled dragons, the first of the two nicknamed Godzilla. I have never dealt with such a fierce lizard. He might eat me for lunch if I gave him the opportunity.
Releasing female dragons
38501963502_77408f6753_k.jpg
Impressive musculature on Godzilla’s lower jaw
37646097145_578acaceb8_k.jpg
Godzilla overlooks his kingdom
26757836769_8f23500e99_k.jpg
A sweeter face on this second male
38533520791_12e3d519cd_k.jpg
26757875729_12953eddd4_k.jpg
The eye of a dragon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star