John's Nature Pictures

Chuckwalla Lizard

This large lizard is nearly a foot long, and plump. It appears to be a female, as the coloration is a bland mottled brown. It is also a juvenile, as it still has the orange spot on its face and the stripes on its tail. The loose skin is normal for these critters, and does not show starvation. The folds of skin help it maintain a body temperature of 100F or so. They can also puff themselves up when they hide in a crack, so that you can't get them out. They eat fruit, leaves, buds and flowers. And the local indians used to eat THEM, supposedly they have a nice white meat that tastes like chicken. I bet the snakes like them, too. The Common Chuckwalla is Sauromalus ater, and is related to the iguana lizard.

Picture #432 -  copyright © 1998 by John Sherman


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