Lizards Need Social Lives, Too
- Social isolation, especially early in life, can be disastrous for birds and mammals. It can result in adults with increased anxiety and stress, worse performance on cognitive tests, and abnormal social behavior. Early social isolation can even have deleterious physiological effects, including a decreased lifespan.
But what about lizards? They were long-assumed to be asocial and behaviorally ‘simple.’ But more recent research has shown some lizards are devoted parents and mates that can distinguish their kin from strangers and recognize individuals. Many lizards spend the first few months of their lives in the company of their siblings or a family group, where they might learn important life lessons and skills.