Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Amazing Chuckwalla!

Here in the Southwest, we have a plant eating lizard called the Chuckwalla. They are related to the Iguana. They can grow to 24 inches. They have an interesting way of dealing with predators. They crawl into the crack of a rock and wedge themselves in and then inflate their lungs 3 to 4 times their normal size.

They don't bite but use their tail to hit at and startle predators. They also puff themselves up to look bigger to their enemies. In this photo you can see that it is puffed up.

They are excellent climbers. One of their favorite meals is Creosote Bush.

Experimenting to see just how hard it would be to pull a Chuckwalla out of a crack.
VERY HARD! They wedge themselves in very tight and then inflate themselves to make extraction impossible.

This is the guy that's tail I was pulling. It was about 18 inches long.

They are natural climbers and always climb to the highest perch.

This one is probably 2 or 3 years old.

Handsome devil, isn't he?
They have very small teeth so getting bit is not a problem. They do have large, sharp claws and when you first pick up a Chuckwalla you need to be careful that you don't get scratched.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if at any point you might want to mention that yes, they eat plants, but they also try to eat 17-year-old boys' fingers :)
    Love you.