Anole lizards are a highly diverse group, with nearly 400 known species, of which around 150 are found in the Caribbean. The image used in this activity is that of a male Plymouth anole on the island of Montserrat in the West Indies displaying its bright yellow dewlap, the flap of skin attached to its throat. Male anoles usually keep their dewlaps hidden unless they are challenged by another male or need to impress a female. Each anole species has a dewlap of a characteristic color and shape. Along with the species-specific head bobbing behavior, the timing of the dewlap display serves as way to communicate with members of the same species and a threat to ward off predators.
The downloadable Educator Materials PDF includes background information and implementation suggestions for using the image as an anchoring phenomenon. The Student Handout includes the image and background.
Image courtesy of Jonathan B. Losos PhD, Museum of Comparative Zoology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University