A chuckwalla looks at the camera. The lizard is mostly black with an orange chest.
The chuckwalla is a common lizard in the monument. During the heat of the day, many snakes and lizards, like this chuckwalla, will take shelter under rocks or in small caves.

NPS photo

Naturally, a variety of reptiles make their home in the arid desert. Because reptiles can not regulate their body temperature, they are considered cold-blooded, and must strategically gather heat from their surroundings. Many reptiles will take shelter under rocks, shrubs, or established burrows in the extreme heat of day. The early evening and night are great times to search for these scaled critters, as they will seek out warm surfaces such as rocks and pavement to continue to regulate their temperatures.

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More About Sonoran Desert Reptiles

Last updated: August 19, 2023

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