Lizard Pushups: Why territory?
Why is it good to have a territory? Not all animals have territories, and some animals are territorial for only part of the year (seasonal, or conditional territoriality). From a cost/benefit point of view, having a territory is worthwhile when the benefits you gain outweigh the costs of establishing and defending the territory.
What are the possible benefits? It depends on the animal, and their particular circumstances. Some of the more commonly-observed benefits of having a territory are:
What about female lizards -- why do they establish territories?
Recently, researchers have begun to focus on territoriality in female
lizards, but such behavior has been studied in only a few species, in
particular Urosaurus ornatus ("common
tree lizard") and Sceloporus jarrovi
("mountain spiny lizard"). See the "lizard
links" and "lizard references"
pages at the end of this module for more information.
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