During the hike with kids (April 2001) we came across this beautiful lizard resting in the Stovepipe Wells Dunes area, Death Valley NP, CA.
It is Common Chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater). The name Chuckwalla derives from the Shoshone word "tcaxxwal" or Cahuilla "caxwal", transcribed by Spaniards as "chacahuala".
Chuckwallas are diurnal animals and as they are exothermic, spend much of their mornings and winter days basking. These lizards are well adapted to desert conditions; they are active at temperatures of up to 102°F (39°C). Chuckwallas hibernate during cooler months and emerge in February.
Mating occurs from April to July, with 5-16 eggs laid between June and August. The eggs hatch in late September. Chuckwallas may live for 25 years or more.