Why Lizards Do Push-Ups? And Other Tucson Wildlife Tidbits You Need to Know Before You Die

Lazlo the skink

It’s all about getting attention. We’re not referring to the reason motorists blast booming music through their cars’ tinny speakers, or why those bored-looking folks toss and twirl furniture sale signs on the corner of Swan and Fort Lowell roads.

We’re talking about why lizards do push-ups. While we can come up with theories that range from absorbing warmth from a tree limb to stretching their legs after a lengthy nap, the real reason lizards to push-ups is simply to get attention.

This is just one of the juicy local wildlife questions that keeps many a Tucsonan awake at night, kicking at the covers and unable to rest, lest we get to the bottom of such sweet mysteries.

It’s the male lizards that engage in the push-up practice, the Discovery Channel explains, for the sole purpose of letting other lizards know a lizard He-Man is on the scene.

And what a He-Man feat these push-ups are. Perched on all fours, the full-body push-ups fully thrust the lizard’s entire frame up and down in quick succession — probably more exercise than some people get in a month.