Reptiles are often the animals people think of when one says the word "desert". The Great Basin Desert is higher in elevation than the other North American deserts. Winter temperatures can be cold, yet summer days are hot. Like most deserts, there can be a vast temperature difference between daytime high temperatures and nighttime low temperatures. Reptiles are "cold-blooded" and must regulate their body temperature by seeking out shade in the summer and warm dens in the winter. Snakes, especially rattlesnakes, are among the best-known of the Great Basin reptiles.
>Reptile Poster (1,876 KB PDF)
Did You Know?
One of the major ecological threats to the sagebrush-dominated Great Basin ecosystem is the introduction and spread of dozens of species of non-native plants. The most important of these, cheatgrass (or downy brome) covers the largest area: 25 million acres, one-third of the area of the Great Basin.