Oh, it's you
DESPITE their cold-blooded demeanour, lizards can form personal
relationships with people. A team of scientists has shown that iguanas
recognise their human handlers and greet them differently, compared with
Scott McRobert and his colleagues at Saint Joseph's University in
Philadelphia had often joked that their lab's pet iguana "Fido" would bob
his head when McRobert approached but ignore everyone else. They decided
to design an experiment to find out if Fido really did know his handler.
They also wanted to see if the twelve-year-old lizard remembered a lab
student who had cared for him four years earlier.
McRobert, the student and around forty strangers took turns reading the Dr
Seuss children's book Oh, the Places You'll Go! to Fido. They read it
aloud or silently, in front of Fido's cage or behind a screen, while
another researcher counted the iguana's head bobs.
When Fido could see the readers but not hear them, he bobbed his head
roughly equally to both the student and McRobert, but almost totally
ignored the strangers. When they read aloud, however, Fido bobbed his head
around three times as often to McRobert than to the student. "Visual cues
alone are enough for him to recognise individuals," says McRobert, but he
suspects that Fido "fine-tunes" his response with audio cues.
"I'm pretty sure that this is the first time human recognition by a lizard
has been demonstrated in a scientific way," says McRobert, who described
the study this week at a meeting of the Animal Behavior Society in
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He suspects Fido singles him out because iguanas
are not normally handled and see handlers as a threat: "It's not that he
loves me," McRobert says.
He plans to use recorded voices to see what Fido will do when visual and
audio cues don't match up. "We may actually learn something about how
these animals recognise individuals."
From New Scientist, 3 July 1999
© Copyright New Scientist, RBI Limited 1999
To HiddenMysteries Internet Book Store
Search this Reptilian Agenda Website
HiddenMysteries and/or the donor of this material may or may not agree with all the data or conclusions of this data.
It is presented here 'as is' for your benefit and research. Material for these pages are sent from around the world.
Reptilian Agenda Website is a publication of TGS Services
Please direct all correspondence to
TGS HiddenMysteries, c/o TGS Services,
22241 Pinedale Lane, Frankston, Texas, 75763
All Content © HiddenMysteries - TGS (1998-2005)
HiddenMysteries.com Internet Store ~ HiddenMysteries Information Central
Texas National Press ~ TGS Publishers Dealers Site
All Rights Reserved
Please send bug reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
FAIR USE NOTICE. This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
United States Code: Title 17, Section 107 http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/unframed/17/107.shtml
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include - (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.