How Lizards Find Their Way Home
This video describes the research of Manuel Leal, who is studying territorial lizards to understand how they navigate the dense forests of Puerto Rico to find their way to their home trees.
Anole lizards are highly territorial and typically stick close to their home tree. So what happens when you carry them far away into the forest? Leal and colleagues designed an experiment to find out. They displaced trunk-ground anoles 80 meters away from their home territories and then tracked their movements through the dense forest using radio transmitters. Most of the lizards were able to orient themselves and head in the right direction, with some making a beeline back to their original tree in less than 24 hours! Leal is continuing this research to better understand the mechanisms used by the lizards to find their way home.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
AP Biology (2019)
IB Biology (2016)
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Vision and Change (2009)