All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume I, 2001

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This study is the first of its kind to observe reactivity style, an individual's consistent response to stress, in a non-mammalian vertebrate species. The responses to social and acute nonsocial stressors were investigated using Anolis carolinensis, a small arboreal lizard native to the Southeastern United States. Patterns of stress responses across various contexts were identified. The social stressor involved introducing one lizard to another, while the nonsocial stressors consisted of a Novelty and Restraint test. The lizards' behaviors, perch site selections, and skin color changes were recorded throughout each test. The results demonstrate that the perch height was the most reliable indicator of the lizards' reaction to stress. Although all of the data did not explicitly support our hypothesis, several trends were evident, and thus the comparison of these behaviors during the test and posttest phase deserves further investigation. The results from this experiment provide an impetus for future studies, such as examining the adaptability of lizards to chronic nonsocial and social stressors, as well as observing the response of the immune system and hormone levels to chronic stress and identifying variations in the limbic system. In addition, this experiment has established a methodology for examining reactions to nonsocial stressors.