Common Chuckwalla

Formerly known as Sauromalus obesus, but now officially known as Sauromalus ater. This fine female (I think) was basking and posing for us in a remote canyon in Death Valley National Park. At first, she was timid, at one point running under a rock to hide. But after a while, she realized we had no desire to eat a lizard. We were far into the wilderness, but we still had a turkey sandwich and plenty of Clif shots, after all. 08 March 2009.


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mrh - Mar 9, 2009 3:14 pm - Voted 10/10


How big is that lizard?

Day Hiker

Day Hiker - Mar 9, 2009 4:39 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: size?

This one was about a foot long, which is smaller than the full-grown length of about 16 inches.

Ejnar Fjerdingstad

Ejnar Fjerdingstad - Mar 10, 2009 1:41 pm - Voted 10/10

I she

pregnant/with eggs with that big belly, or do they always look like that?

Day Hiker

Day Hiker - Mar 10, 2009 9:38 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: I she

That large belly is a distinctive characteristic of the chuckwalla. It is its normal physique -- an American thing, probably.

Chuckwallas are herbivorous, occasionally eating insects also. My brother told me that it is typical for herbivorous lizards to have larger bellies to accommodate their diet.

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