The chuckwalla is a large, fat lizard
which grows up to 16 inches in length and is easily identified by the
loose folds of skin on the neck and sides. The color varies between the
sexes and with the age of the lizard. Adult males have dark heads and
forelegs with a black, red, orange, gray or yellow trunk. Females and
young chuckwallas may have yellow or gray bands.
Chuckwallas prefer to live in rocky
areas, and are found throughout the deserts of the US and Mexico.
The lizards hibernate during the winter months, usually emerging as days
warm in mid to late February.
Chuckwallas sometimes avoid
predators by hiding in a rock crevice then swallowing air to make
their bodies expand, wedging them tight.
They are mainly herbivorous, but will also consume an
occasional insect. In the summer, females will lay an average of 6 eggs.
Babies typically emerge in late September.