Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Who Needs Sweet Tea?

Sweet tea is a staple of the South, but it's difficult to find in the natural world. The closest thing to sweet tea is the nectar which flowers use to bribe insects and birds to facilitate successful pollination. Don't let the Surgeon General know, but the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest is guilty of feeding empty calories to the resident reptilians, which can only exacerbate the obesity epidemic in our country.

The male Carolina Anole (Anolis carolinensis) has discovered that the hummingbird feeder is the spot to get his sweet tooth fix. The Carolina Anole (pronounced a-nō'lē) is not a cameleon, which can change its color to match its environment. The lizard can change from green to brown, but that has more to do with the mood of the individual. Green is the color of an individual that is aroused by activity, a threat (predators, "playful" domestic cats, or curious toddlers), a rival, or a possible mate, while brown is the color for all other times.

Everything in moderation...if eaten with a healthy diet of insects and spiders, a small amount of sweet water shouldn't send our lizard to Sugar-eaters Anonymous.

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