Why do lizards do push ups?

But just why do lizards do push ups?

Have you ever walked through your backyard and stopped at a lizard hanging spot… only to see one of them doing push-ups? Yes, you heard that right; humans are not the only ones doing push-ups. Lizards are quite athletic too. Only that they are probably not doing it for the same reason as we are. Or, well, not entirely.

Lizards do not do push-ups as a way to form their abs; they probably couldn’t care less about forming muscles in their pecs. On the other hand, they do share the same desire that most guys at the gym share: to show off and display their strength.

Like with men, a push-up can be equivalent to “I’m strong, so get away from my turf.” It’s basically a warning to the other lizards that see him from a distance to stay away. It may look like something very simple, but reptiles usually take note of this and leave the push-up doer alone.

A lizard can also do a push-up as a form of challenge. Whether the lizard is on their own turf or on someone else’s, the push-up may be a signal for “come fight me, I can take you out.” It’s a good way to get attention, especially from a distance, when it’s too noisy or too far away. It’s their “look at me” technique.

Lastly, another reason why the lizard might be doing push-ups is that it might want to impress a mate. Mixed with some head bobbing and a display of their colorful neck, they are communicating to their potential mate that they are big and strong. In the meantime, this can also be done to scare potential suitors away. It’s a show of strength, and everyone is supposed to see it – whether it’s mate or foe.

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