This Element is an excerpt from Curious Folks Ask 2: 188 Real Answers on Our Fellow Creatures, Our Planet, and Beyond (9780137057399) by Sherry Seethaler. Available in print and digital formats.
Animal mysteries solved: why lizards do pushups, how kangaroos clean their pouches, and much more!
Why do lizards do “pushups” while sunning themselves? They are displaying athletic flamboyance, just like their human counterparts at Venice Beach. Depending on the nuances, lizard pushups may convey “I’m too tough to mess with” or “Hey, ladies, check me out.” Body language is a rich form of communication for lizard jocks and jockettes…
Sherry Seethaler, a science writer and educator at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), works with scientists to explain their discoveries to the public. She writes a column for the San Diego Union Tribune answering readers’ questions about science. Seethaler holds an M.S. and Master of Philosophy in biology from Yale and a Ph.D. in science and math education from University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation examined how students are taught to make sense of scientific controversy. She designed and taught the innovative university course Teaching Contemporary Scientific Controversies and helped design UCSD’s California Teach program, which prepares science and math students to teach.