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Re: DOWNY STEGOSAURS (WAS: Re: Feathers on Bloody



Betty wrote, "Cold-blooded animals to lose heat either move to where it's
cooler - or - open their mouths to cool the blood
circulating in the mouth.

"Is there another way cold blooded animals cool down?"

Yes--alteration of color.  Seen most clearly in American anoles and the
chameleons, many other lacertilians display a lighter color when they're hot
to reflect the heat of sunlight, and a darker one to absorb heat more
efficiently when they're basking.  

Of course, the anoles and chameleons also use color variation primarily as
an infraspecific signalling device, but I've personally observed the heat
regulating function in them, as well.

I'm keeping a baby bearded dragon right now, and he goes from a surprisingly
dark brown when he'd cold to an almost white shade of beige when he's hot.

--Christopher