As might be expected in a warm, desert area, reptiles are common throughout the region. For the most part, they prefer the rocky slopes and dry washes where boulders and brush furnish plenty of shelter and shade. Natural foods are also more likely to be found in this type of habitat.
Due to the great heat of the sun during the hot summer months, many reptiles, such as snakes, come out in the late evening and search for food until the sun's rays drive them to cover again the next day. Most of the lizards are around during the daylight hours, but they seldom stay out in the sunlight for any length of time. Contrary to belief, most reptiles are unable to live when subjected to the direct rays of the sun for a very long period of time. Most of the snakes and lizards in this region are very harmless, but there are two types of poisonous reptiles that live here - the rattlesnake (of which there are 5 kinds) and the Gila Monster.
Did You Know?
Desert Bighorn sheep live in matriarchal societies. A dominant female leads a herd, which for much of the year consists primarily of ewes and their lambs. The rams tend to stay together in bachelor groups until the summer breeding season.