Several observational and experimental studies have shown that perch diameter has an impact on the development of hind-limb length (HL) in Anolis species. This “phenotypic plasticity” in relative hind-limb growth (RHG) has implications for short-term and long-term adaptation to different structural habitats. Our study is the first to replicate research in which hatchling/juvenile Anolis sagrei were reared on narrow-diameter or broad-diameter dowels in a laboratory setting. Although subjects reared on different dowel diameters did not differ significantly in RHG at 5 weeks into the experiment, results at 15 weeks revealed a significant effect of treatment but not of sex: subjects in the broad (N = 69) treatment group exhibited significantly greater RHG than did subjects in the narrow (N = 61) treatment group. We extended this research with a novel follow-up study: we placed our lab-reared subjects into outdoor enclosures where they had a choice of narrow- or broad-diameter dowels on which to perch. Results showed that subjects in both treatment groups chose broad-diameter dowels as perches more often than narrow-diameter dowels. We offer several potential explanations for the strong preference of our subjects for broad-diameter dowels irrespective of the dowel diameter on which they were reared.

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