Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sneaky transvestite lizards

It is my impression that most human transvestites aren't men who dress up as women to pick up women, but, apparently for lizards, it's a good strategy.

Researchers have recently found a species of lizard in South Africa where non-dominant males delay changing to their adult coloration so they can sneak around and steal women without the dominant males realizing what's going on. This works because juveniles of the Augrabies Flat Lizard all start out the color of females.
"By delaying the onset of colour to a more convenient period, these males, termed she-males, are making the best of a bad situation."

Australian National University associate professor Scott Keogh said opting to become transvestites for a period offered young males a dual advantage.

"They can avoid potentially dangerous bouts with dominant males and still have access to normally inaccessible females," he said.

I almost wrote "steal women right under the dominant males' noses," but in fact, you can fool them by looks - but if the dominant male gets close enough to smell, the she-males are in trouble:

University of Sydney researcher Jonathan Webb said... the she-males needed to be nimble to avoid advances from dominant males smitten by their fake female allure.

"Males are fooled by looks, but not by scent," he said.

"She-males are able to maintain this deception by staying one step ahead of a prying male, and thereby avoiding a nosey tongue that might give the game away."

Maybe a good cologne would help?

(Photo from coverage at, Gay South Africa Lifestyle News.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.