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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 body's 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
Both of our chuckwallas arrived in March of 2018 from the Elmwood Park Zoo at the age of 3 years. The male is larger in size and has a redder tail. The female has a smaller head especially when compared to the male's puffy jowls.