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Today’s photos are of desert animals, sent in by Charles Peterson. His notes and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.
A few from the California Mojave Desert
An adult male chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater), sovereign of his realm. Herbivorous rock dwellers and the largest lizards around here.
A chuckwalla relative in the family of ‘true’ iguanids, and therefore also herbivorous, the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis). This one posed on the edge of an old lava flow at Amboy Crater National Landmark.
A zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides), striking the same pose. These are found in flat open areas and are built for speed.
Not a great photograph, but a very cool lizard, the western banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus). One of only two nocturnal lizards in the Mojave, this one is seen here in seminatural habitat on a retaining wall in my back yard.
A portrait of an adult female desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). My personal favorite animal species and the focus of my work.
Mammal-wise, the most commonly seen denizen is the black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus). Dig those crazy ears.
An unfocused phone photo of one the very few American badgers (Taxidea taxus) I have ever seen. I thought there was a tortoise in that hole until this guy popped up and surprised us both.