• The Great House at Casa Grande Ruins stands out for miles

    Casa Grande Ruins

    National Monument Arizona

Mammals of the Sonoran Desert

A Kit fox resting in a wall of the Casa Grande.

A Kit fox resting in a wall of the Casa Grande.

NPS Photo

The Sonoran Desert is home to a wide variety of animals, birds and other creatures. Mammals include large animals like the javelina, coyote, Mexican Wolf, bighorn sheep, and bobcat. Smaller animals like the fox, skunk, cottontail, and jackrabbit also live here.

Another mammal that lives in the desert is the bat. These animals pollinate many plants and eat lots of bugs. There are two bats unique to the Sonoran desert: the long-tongued bat and the long-nosed bat .

 
A round-tailed ground squirrel at Casa Grande Ruins.

A Round-tailed ground squirrel at Casa Grande Ruins.

Jim Creager

Even rodents like the packrat, round-tailed ground squirrel, and mice make the Sonoran Desert their home. Many of these animals are nocturnal. By hunting and foraging for food at night, they keep cooler and are less likely to become dehydrated.
 

Did You Know?

1852 sketch of Casa Grande by John Bartlett.

Father Kino, in 1694, was the first European to call this structure Casa Grande. It is a Spanish word that means 'great house.' The Casa Grande is a 4-story, 11-room structure which was built about 700 years ago.