Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lizards to know: Part 1

Let's begin with some of the lizards found in the 'lower canyon'; basically everything from the visitor center to the dam/Bluff trail 'border'. There's cross over, of course, but this distinction is helpful for some of the lizards, even though they don't necessarily abide by it. (All photos by Ned Harris, click on photo for larger view.)

Side-blotched lizard, male
The Side-blotched Lizard does, in fact, have a blotch on the side. Markings vary from spots to chevrons, but males have the bluish tails and undersides. Apparently the girls like blue.

Side-blotched lizard, regrown tail
This one has regrown its tail after losing it to a predator. Better your tail than your life, but regrowing a tail is not without costs. It seems that dormant stem cells are switched 'on' when the lizard loses its tail. Some interesting research is going on about how to do this in humans so that, say, amputated limbs could be regrown.

Zebra-tailed Lizard
Note the two striped by the armpits. That's your clue you are looking at a Zebra-tailed Lizard. More info at this post.

Regal Horned Lizard
And last (for today), but not least, my personal favorite, the very well-camouflaged (and cute) Regal Horned Lizard. In the interest of science, an unnamed naturalist picked up two to be photographed. (Under the rubric: "do what I say, not what I do"  -  Please don't pick up lizards of any kind unless you are specially trained, like Larry Jones. In most cases, it's not legal to do so.)

Goodbye for now!
No lizards of any kind were harmed in the making of this blog post. 

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