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The Great
Southwest
Great Southwest

Great Southwest

Deserts are not deserted by wildlife. They are places of little rain and much sun, and are home to a surprising variety of plants and animals. In order to survive the extremes of the desert climate, life forms have developed unique adaptations for conserving water and avoiding the intense heat.


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Great Southwest

Nine-banded Armadillo

Dasypus novemcinctus

Biome: Great Southwest

Classification: Mammals

Biography: The bony armor-like plates covering a nine-banded armadillo are one of its most unique adaptations. The smooth shell offers protection and helps it slip into the cover of the underbrush. Unlike some armadillo species, the nine-banded cannot curl itself into a ball. With its... More >


Ocelot Great Southwest

Ocelot

Leopardus pardalis

Biome: Great Southwest

Classification: Mammals

Biography: Twice the size of an average house cat, the ocelot is a sleek animal with a gorgeous dappled coat. Shy and elusive, their spotted coats make them very well camouflaged for blending into their surroundings, and they seem to mysteriously disappear into the shadows of their... More >


Ringtail Great Southwest

Ringtail

Bassariscus astutus

Biome: Great Southwest

Classification: Mammals

Biography: Ringtails are relatives of the raccoon and inhabit desert canyons, especially areas with rocky outcrops, caves and mine shafts. Strictly nocturnal, ringtails use their large eyes and keen sense of smell to locate food, including rodents, birds, invertebrates, and plant... More >


Roadrunner Great Southwest

Roadrunner

Geococcyx californianus

Biome: Great Southwest

Classification: Birds

Biography: Roadrunners are long, slender birds with long expressive tails, shaggy crests and strong legs for running. These birds are known for their swift and characteristic style of running (up to 15 mph for short distances). They seldom fly and are primarily a ground bird. In the... More >


Great Southwest

Rosy Boa

Lichanura trivirgata

Biome: Great Southwest

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: The rosy boa is one of the smallest members of the boa family, and rarely exceeds three feet in length. Like all boas, it is a powerful constrictor and has a thick body, small head, and vertical pupils. To protect itself, a rosy boa rolls up into a ball with its head in the... More >


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