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Rocks provide a means of defense for the chuckwalla. When threatened, this flat-bodied lizard scurries into a crevice, gulps air to inflate its body, and wedges itself into the safety of the rocks, making it extremely difficult for a predator to remove it. While basking in the sunshine, a chuckwalla flattens its body against the rock to absorb more heat. This low-profile also affords greater camouflage, and predators will have trouble detecting either a chuckwalla or its shadow. To warm up or to avoid overheating, lizards thermoregulate by moving between the sun and shade, changing their bodys orientation to the sun, and adjusting contact with hot surfaces. These desert lizards can withstand higher temperatures than most lizards, and can tolerate 100-105F.
Our Animal's Story
We have a pair of chuckwallas. The male is larger with a black body and a carrot-colored tail. The female is smaller and her tail is still slightly banded.